NIWA portal opens environmental data

NIWA portal opens environmental data

Researchers can now look up environmental data using open standard portal

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) has developed the new environmental data portal. The Environmental Information (EI) browser will allow researchers to view details on environmental data held by the Crown Research Institute. The data spans decades of collection across New Zealand.

A user would input a topic keyword like ‘climate’, and a location in New Zealand. They would then be presented with articles or data which have been tagged with the keyword about the particular location.

“EI represents a big leap forwards in our efforts to improve user access to the wealth of information we collect and store,” says Jochen Schmidt, chief scientist of environmental information at NIWA.

Scmidt says the underlying principle of the project is to enable truly open information sharing, through the use of Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards.

“The key to the usefulness of this tool is not the portal itself, but the underlying information technology used,” Schmidt explains.

“The browser simply ‘discovers’ the databases through this open standard technology. It doesn’t matter who is searching, or where they are located.”

The EI system is currently in beta, and NIWA says it is looking to add more functionality and improve search and metadata.

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