Green Plan Banner

Research Program Banner

Research Report  3.9

Management and Dissemination of Digital Data and Relevant Information Collected Through the Green Plan

Mr. Ken Denholm, Ont. Land Resource Unit,
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,
70 Fountain Street, Guelph, ONT N1H 3N
COESA Report No.:  RES/MON-009/97

Objectives & Expected Outputs
Executive Summary

View / Download Report   [197 KB pdf]

 

Report List | Green Plan Research


Objectives and Expected Outputs
Objectives: To develop a data management and analysis system with the capability to correlate, interpret and document linkages between the data collected through Green Plan Monitoring Research Projects and other land resource information for Ontario; to carry out data and spatial analysis to verify the quality and content of data delivered through the Green Plan Monitoring component and where possible to standardize and extend the area of the data analyses; to provide standardized, documented copies of data for assessment and use by other projects and agencies and for comparison with future measurements.
Expected Outputs: A conceptual framework within which data collected from Green Plan Monitoring Research activities are organized in a way capable of correlation, interpretation and linkage to other land resource information for Ontario. It is expected that data and spatial analysis will be carried out to verify the quality and content of the data being drawn from the Green Plan Monitoring projects. This analysis will have enhanced the original project results and lead to potential extension of the data to other parts of the province and to other areas of study. Not least will be provision of standardized, documented copies of data for assessment and use by other projects and agencies and for comparison with future data.
Type: Fed. Government, In-House
Spending Profile: 93-94: $37.0 K,  94-95: $49.5 K,  95-96: $52.0 K,  96-97: $41.5 K,  Total: $180.0 K
Status: Available Fall 1997

 

Executive Summary

Existing GIS databases and spatial analysis tools have been extensively used in studies of Ontario agricultural systems and their environmental impacts. However, limited data and information have been collected to support on-farm decision-making and provide linkages between broad-level analysis and research results at the site or farm-level. The amount of information converted to computerized databases for multi-source data integrations is even more limited. One of the objectives of the research activities under the Canada-Ontario Agriculture Green Plan, particularly the resource monitoring sub-program, is to fill some of these data gaps and to develop capabilities for monitoring and assessment of agricultural resources. Development of a computerized data management and analysis system using geographic information system (GIS) technology is one of the projects of the Green Plan Research Program.

The objectives of this project are to:

  1. develop a data management and analysis system with the capability to correlate, interpret and document linkages between the data collected through Green Plan research projects;

  2. carry out data and spatial analysis to verify the content and quality of digital data received from the Green Plan Monitoring component;

  3. provide standardized, documented copies of data for assessment and use by other projects and agencies and for comparison with future measurements.

To achieve the objectives, the following activities were conducted by this project during 1994 - 1996:

  • The review of related methodological and technical issues and development of a framework, including:

    1. the system architecture and components,

    2. database model and structure;

    3. structure of data organization in relation to existing data sets;

    4. data validation and quality control procedures;

    5. procedures for developing metadata (data about data) and a metadata interface.

  • The upgrade and re-configuration of the computer hardware and software at the Ontario Land Resource Unit (OLRU), which was necessary for implementing the data management system.

  • The design and prototyping of an Entity-Relationship (ER) model database structure.

  • The design and prototyping of a web-based metadata system.

  • A routine data check, validation, conversion and documentation of each data set received from related Green Plan research projects.

A data management and analysis system has been developed and used for managing the data collected through the Green Plan Research Program, especially data collected through the Resource Monitoring Sub-program. The system was built on the existing GIS system at OLRU and currently maintained by OLRU technical staff. The system consists of:

  1. GIS and DBMS hardware and software;

  2. database sub-system;

  3. data management and quality control procedures;

  4. metadata and meta-information sub-system;

  5. GIS analytical tools and procedures (built-in functionality of commercial software, in-house routines, application procedures, etc.)

The entity-relationship data model was used as the logic tool to design database tables and structures. Three sets of entities were identified: project entities, sampling entities and property entities. A limited number of data tables (structures/templates) were designed based on these entities and their relationships. The data table structures are relatively standard but flexible enough to accommodate data from a wide range of sources. New data can be added to the database system without having to create new tables or columns. This can ensure:

  1. the efficiency of data entry, update and maintenance;

  2. the reduction in redundancy and increased consistency and integrity of data within the database system. With the standard but flexible database structure, data collected through other agricultural resource and agri-environmental research programs or projects can also be stored and managed in the system.

Metadata and user interface, integral parts of the system, have been developed and demonstrated. In addition to metadata tables attached to each data set, such as the project entity table and the sampling entity table, the document type metadata in hypertext format were created for each data set. The Canadian National Metadata Standards were used as a basis in defining metadada components and contents. Other meta-like documents containing explanatory information related to specific data sets, including reports from private contractors and related publications are also considered as part of the metadata and meta-information system. The web-based metadata interface with query and search capability has shown good potential in improving data and information service for related research and decision-making.

 


 

Report List

Green Plan Research Home | Canada-Ontario GREEN PLAN

 

Last Updated: May 17, 2011 10:34:58 AM