PANGAEA - An information system for marine science

Hannes.Grobe [ at ]


Through joint national and international efforts ail information system was developed during the last years to store the variety of geological and environmental data in a consistent form, and to provide access on data essential for the scientific community involved in Global Change research. Based on the discussions and recommendations of scientists from jnstitutes contributing to marine sciences, the information system, PANGAEA (PaleoNetwork for Geological and Environmental Data), was developed at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar, and Marine Research (AWI) funded by the German Ministry of Education, Science, Research · and Technology (BMBF). PANGAEA provides a new powerful scientific tool, which is innovative and unique so far. The first PANGAEA subsystem SEPAN (Sediment and Paleoclimate Data Network) is operational since 1996 and is used within a growing network of marine research institutes in Germany.The PANGAEA-data management comprises the collection of analytical data including all related meta-iIiformation, data set error checking and publication with long-'term banking of data. Retrieval, downloading, and visualization functionality is included as well as support for working groups in data handling. The efficiency of handling, sharing and integrating data is supported by an easy to use graphical interface which also offers complex search and access functionality.Problems arising from the great variety of parameters, methods, calibrations, and interpretations in the field of .environmental. Investigations are solved through a flexible and simple data model. The structure of the data model reflects the standard processing steps for environmental data. Different projects are working in selected areas or on different ,campaigns to take samples or to measure environmental parameter. From each site analytical data are produced. Lists including standardized meta-information (e.g. references, definition of parameter, method) are connected to the main data fields. Any site oriented data f a specific scientific field can be, stored in a consistent format. The user is able to extract data sets for specific requirements in nearly any useful combination of metadata and analytical data via comprehensive retrievals. Data can be exported as text or plotted with one of the graphic tools as a geographical map ,or as a plot versus time or elevation. All data sets are copyright protected within a hierarchicc;tl protection system. PANGAEA uses client/server technology through the Intranet/Internet. The main server, located in a computer center, is connected through the Internet with the different external institutes/projects. To improve access speed, all meta-information is mirrored on local servers. Only on request of anatytical data the main server is accessed through the Internet. Using the PANGAEA proprietary software gives full access to the functionality of the system; read only access on published data is provided through the WorldWideWeb. Tests of the client/server connection through the Internet have shown that this system can be used throughout whole Europe.The PANGAEA system is introduced to the scientific community since 1995 on national and international workshops and symposia and was offered as the data management system for different projects and institutions. It is now part of the data management plan of five EU proposals in the fields of MAST and 'Climate and Environment', of three special research projects (SFB) of Germany, dealing with marine research and is established in Germany to provide management and longterm storage of data for several institutes connected to the PANGAEA Network.

Item Type
Conference (Talk)
Publication Status
Event Details
MAST workshop on project data management, 11-13 June 1997, Institute for Space Applications, Joint Research Center, Ispra, Italy (European Commission DG XII).
Eprint ID
Cite as
Diepenbroek, M. , Grobe, H. and Reinke, M. (1997): PANGAEA - An information system for marine science , MAST workshop on project data management, 11-13 June 1997, Institute for Space Applications, Joint Research Center, Ispra, Italy (European Commission DG XII) .

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