Environmental data rescue

Last updated

Environmental data rescue is a collection of processes, including photography and scanning, that stores historical and modern environmental data in a usable format. The data is then analyzed and used in scientific models. Historical weather information helps meteorologists and climatologists understand past trends in weather changes, which helps them forecast and predict future weather.

One method takes digital photographs of environmental datum stored on paper medium and then ships the images to a facility where they are entered into a database.

Throughout the world, some estimate 700,000 pieces of data are lost every day due to inks fading, paper deteriorating, magnetic tape print-through etc. A rough estimate of 100 billion parameter values that are still on paper exists, microfiche, microfilm, and magnetic tape that are in a format unusable by computers and scientists alike, which need to be digitized. This data is stored on a variety of media from paper, microfiche, to older magnetic tapes that are going bad.

Once data is digitized, it can be used to help a large range of people from farmers to engineers and in scientific pursuits such as climate studies.

National Climatic Data Center is the current collection point for this data within the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

Historical Environmental Data are also used as a basis for "Disease Vectorization" where the areal spread of airborne diseases are correlated to historical weather conditions so that in future outbreaks, health care teams can predict the direction and rate of spread of the disease so that remedial actions can begin before the disease reaches the vulnerable population. Historic data are also used in designing structures such as bridges and buildings, assist the 1.8 billion subsistence farmers throughout the world better plan crops alleviating starvation. The International Environmental Data Rescue Organization, a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization has already participated in the rescue and digitization of one million historic weather observations in Africa and South America: http://IEDRO.ORG

Related Research Articles

Computer data storage Storage of digital data readable by computers

Computer data storage is a technology consisting of computer components and recording media that are used to retain digital data. It is a core function and fundamental component of computers.

Geographic information system System to capture, manage and present geographic data

A geographic information system (GIS) is a conceptualized framework that provides the ability to capture and analyze spatial and geographic data. GIS applications are computer-based tools that allow the user to create interactive queries, store and edit spatial and non-spatial data, analyze spatial information output, and visually share the results of these operations by presenting them as maps.

Magnetic tape Medium used to store data in the form of magnetic fields

Magnetic tape is a medium for magnetic recording, made of a thin, magnetizable coating on a long, narrow strip of plastic film. It was developed in Germany in 1928, based on magnetic wire recording. Devices that record and playback audio and video using magnetic tape are tape recorders and video tape recorders respectively. A device that stores computer data on magnetic tape is known as a tape drive.

Data storage Recording of information in a storage medium

Data storage is the recording (storing) of information (data) in a storage medium. Handwriting, phonographic recording, magnetic tape, and optical discs are all examples of storage media, some authors even propose that DNA is a natural data storage mechanism. Recording may be accomplished with virtually any form of energy. Electronic data storage requires electrical power to store and retrieve data.

Precision agriculture

Precision agriculture (PA), satellite farming or site specific crop management (SSCM) is a farming management concept based on observing, measuring and responding to inter and intra-field variability in crops. The goal of precision agriculture research is to define a decision support system (DSS) for whole farm management with the goal of optimizing returns on inputs while preserving resources.

Data degradation is the gradual corruption of computer data due to an accumulation of non-critical failures in a data storage device. The phenomenon is also known as data decay, data rot or bit rot.

Digitization Process of creating a digital representation of a document or object

Digitization is the process of converting information into a digital format. The result is the representation of an object, image, sound, document or signal by generating a series of numbers that describe a discrete set of points or samples. The result is called digital representation or, more specifically, a digital image, for the object, and digital form, for the signal. In modern practice, the digitized data is in the form of binary numbers, which facilitate processing by digital computers and other operations, but, strictly speaking, digitizing simply means the conversion of analog source material into a numerical format; the decimal or any other number system that can be used instead.

National Climatic Data Center Active US archive of weather data.

The United States National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), previously known as the National Weather Records Center (NWRC), in Asheville, North Carolina, was the world's largest active archive of weather data. Starting as a tabulation unit in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1934, the climate records were transferred to Asheville in 1951, becoming named the National Weather Records Center (NWRC). It was later renamed the National Climatic Data Center, with relocation occurring in 1993. In 2015, it was merged with the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) and the National Oceanic Data Center (NODC) into the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).

In library and archival science, digital preservation is a formal endeavor to ensure that digital information of continuing value remains accessible and usable. It involves planning, resource allocation, and application of preservation methods and technologies, and it combines policies, strategies and actions to ensure access to reformatted and "born-digital" content, regardless of the challenges of media failure and technological change. The goal of digital preservation is the accurate rendering of authenticated content over time. The Association for Library Collections and Technical Services Preservation and Reformatting Section of the American Library Association, defined digital preservation as combination of "policies, strategies and actions that ensure access to digital content over time." According to the Harrod's Librarian Glossary, digital preservation is the method of keeping digital material alive so that they remain usable as technological advances render original hardware and software specification obsolete.

Enterprise content management (ECM) extends the concept of content management by adding a timeline for each content item and, possibly, enforcing processes for its creation, approval and distribution. Systems using ECM generally provide a secure repository for managed items, analog or digital. They also include one methods for importing content to bring manage new items, and several presentation methods to make items available for use. Although ECM content may be protected by digital rights management (DRM), it is not required. ECM is distinguished from general content management by its cognizance of the processes and procedures of the enterprise for which it is created.

Preservation of documents, pictures, recordings, digital content, etc., is a major aspect of archival science. It is also an important consideration for people who are creating time capsules, family history, historical documents, scrapbooks and family trees. Common storage media are not permanent, and there are few reliable methods of preserving documents and pictures for the future.

Microform Forms with microreproductions of documents

Microforms are scaled-down reproductions of documents, typically either films or paper, made for the purposes of transmission, storage, reading, and printing. Microform images are commonly reduced to about 4% or one twenty-fifth of the original document size. For special purposes, greater optical reductions may be used.

Digital dark age

The digital dark age is a lack of historical information in the digital age as a direct result of outdated file formats, software, or hardware that becomes corrupt, scarce, or inaccessible as technologies evolve and data decay. Future generations may find it difficult or impossible to retrieve electronic documents and multimedia, because they have been recorded in an obsolete and obscure file format, or on an obsolete physical medium, for example, floppy disks. The name derives from the term Dark Ages in the sense that there could be a relative lack of records in the digital age, as documents are transferred to digital formats and original copies are lost. An early mention of the term was at a conference of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) in 1997. The term was also mentioned in 1998 at the Time and Bits conference, which was co-sponsored by the Long Now Foundation and the Getty Conservation Institute.

Preservation (library and archival science) Set of activities aimed at prolonging the life of a record or object

In library and archival science, preservation is a set of activities aimed at prolonging the life of a record, book, or object while making as few changes as possible. Preservation activities vary widely and may include monitoring the condition of items, maintaining the temperature and humidity in collection storage areas, writing a plan in case of emergencies, digitizing items, writing relevant metadata, and increasing accessibility. Preservation, in this definition, is practiced in a library or an archive by a librarian, archivist, or other professional when they perceive a record is in need of care.

Preservation of magnetic audiotape

Preservation of magnetic audiotape comprises techniques for handling, cleaning and storage of magnetic audiotapes in an archival repository. Multiple types of magnetic media exist but are mainly in the form of open reels or enclosed cassettes. Although digitization of materials on fragile magnetic media in library and information science is a common practice, there remains a need for conserving the actual physical magnetic tape and playback equipment as artifacts.

Oral history preservation is the field that deals with the care and upkeep of oral history materials, whatever format they may be in. Oral history is a method of historical documentation, using interviews with living survivors of the time being investigated. Oral history often touches on topics scarcely touched on by written documents, and by doing so, fills in the gaps of records that make up early historical documents.

A paperless office is a work environment in which the use of paper is eliminated or greatly reduced. This is done by converting documents and other papers into digital form, a process known as digitization. Proponents claim that "going paperless" can save money, boost productivity, save space, make documentation and information sharing easier, keep personal information more secure, and help the environment. The concept can be extended to communications outside the office as well.

The Linear Tape File System (LTFS) is a file system that allows files stored on magnetic tape to be accessed in a similar fashion to those on disk or removable flash drives. It requires both a specific format of data on the tape media and software to provide a file system interface to the data.

The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), an agency of the United States government, manages one of the world's largest archives of atmospheric, coastal, geophysical, and oceanic data, containing information that ranges from the surface of the sun to Earth's core, and from ancient tree ring and ice core records to near-real-time satellite images.

Digital agriculture refers to tools that digitally collect, store, analyze, and share electronic data and/or information along the agricultural value chain. Other definitions, such as those from the United Nations Project Breakthrough, Cornell University, and Purdue University, also emphasize the role of digital technology in the optimization of food systems.