Document Type


Publication Date



Geographic information systems -- Data processing, Database management, Spatial analysis (Statistics), Metadata, Information storage and retrieval systems


The past decade has seen an explosion in the number and types of environmental sensors deployed, many of which provide a continuous stream of observations. Each individual observation consists of one or more sensor measurements, a geographic location, and a time. With billions of historical observations stored in diverse databases and in thousands of datasets, scientists have difficulty finding relevant observations. We present an approach that creates consistent geospatial-temporal metadata from large repositories of diverse data by blending curated and automated extracts. We describe a novel query method over this metadata that returns ranked search results to a query with geospatial and temporal search criteria. Lastly, we present a prototype that demonstrates the utility of these ideas in the context of an ocean and coastal margin observatory.


This is the authors' final version of a chapter that subsequently appeared in Scientific and Statistical Database Management, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011. Available at DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-22351-8_4

Persistent Identifier