Welcome to SEQITOR

Management across the catchment-coast-ocean continuum remains one of the greatest Natural Resource Management (NRM) challenges still to be addressed in Australia. To do so requires an underpinning Coastal Knowledge platform that integrates observational (e.g. monitoring and remote sensing) data with modeling of catchment, estuarine and coastal processes in a way that allows management agencies to comprehensively assess and report the status and outlook for these coastal assets, and the success— or otherwise—of current or proposed management interventions.

The SEQITOR (South East Queensland Integrated Terrestrial to Oceans Research) project harnesses investments and innovations in observation networks (e.g. TERN, IMOS, ANDS, State agency, CSIRO) and integrated catchment and receiving environment modelling to develop data delivery, assimilation and visualisation infrastructure that will allow researchers and managers to better understand the strong, but often highly episodic (e.g. floods) connection between activities in the catchment and the effects on downstream coastal and marine aquatic water quality and ecosystem health.

SEQITOR is being led by CSIRO with funding from the Australian National Data Service. Additional support is being provided by the Australian Coastal Ecosystems Facility, part of TERN.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Final Product - SEQuITOR


The SEQITOR (South East Queensland Integrated Terrestrial to Oceans Research) project harnesses investments and innovations in observation networks (e.g. TERN, IMOS, ANDS, State agency, CSIRO) and integrated catchment and receiving environment modelling to develop data delivery, assimilation and visualisation infrastructure that will allow researchers and managers to better understand the strong, but often highly episodic (e.g. floods) connection between activities in the catchment and the effects on downstream coastal and marine aquatic water quality and ecosystem health.

SEQuITOR will be used by coastal researchers and coastal managers to access both raw data and visualisation tools to inform decision making and scientific investigations but also to feed directly into modelling and statistical workflows.

SEQuITOR makes it easier to access real-time, routine and modelled data from a range of sources. This would previously have been extremely difficult and time consuming to achieve.

How to use SEQuITOR

SEQuITOR is accessible at:

but SEQuITOR is more than just a website - some of the key components of SEQuITOR are 'under the hood'. In the background, SEQuITOR is a collection of 'web services' which deliver data and information to the SEQuITOR website. These web services can not only be accessed via the website, but can be accessed directly by technical or 'power' users. Data from SEQuITOR services can then be integrated into statistical or modelling workflows in a consistent way.

The SEQuITOR website, however, is very simple to use. The interface is comprised of a 5 main sections, as shown below. These components provide access to a range of datasets (the Data navigator), two visual interfaces (the Map and the Time series charting areas), a common time slider and a section to adjust the style of datasets.

Discovering data:

Get started by browsing the tabs and datasets in the data Navigator. The data navigator allows you to access geospatial data, modelling data and time series data. GeoSpatial and modelling datasets are on the first tab, time series data is on the second tab.

NOTE: At present, time series datasets are only accessible to registered and authenticated users. This will be resolved as soon as data licensing is finalised. Please check back soon or contact us to request access to time series data.

Visualising geospatial and model data:

When you choose a dataset from the 'Map and model layers' in the data navigator, it will be added to the map. You will then interact with the data by using the time slider and styling tools.
NOTE: The time slider is common to all datasets. Changing the time will update all datasets in the map and chart.
For datasets with time elements (modelling and time series), the available data extent will be shown in the time slider window. You can expand the time slider by clicking on the top edge of the timeline. Drag the timeslider to select a different date.
The SEQuITOR timeslider shows the available data extents for data which has been added to the map. Drag left and right to select a different date.
You can also adjust visual styles in the Data Styling tab on the right hand side. You can choose a different colour ramp and adjust minimum and maximum values.

You can also generate a line transect from the model data by selecting the transect tool () from above the Data Styling section.
Model data can be visualised and custom styling applied. Transect graphs can also be generated using the transect tool.
NOTE: If you have multiple layers added to the map, make sure you have the correct layer selected in the 'Active Layers' section before styling the data.
You can also add timeseries data for model layers to the charting window for chosen points. To do this, click anywhere in the model layer and click the 'Add to Chart' link. This will add a point to the map which will be used to extract data for the charting windows. Please note that this can take some time due to the size of the model datasets.

Visualising time series layers:

When adding time series layers from the Data Navigator, firstly expand the 'SensorCloud' folder to see the list of available networks. When a network is selected, the sites within that network will be added to the map.

You can then either visualise time series data on the map, in the charting window, or both.
SEQuITOR timeseries data can be visualised on the map using custom styling.
To visualise in the map, choose a sensor and a parameter from the data styling window, and set your colour range. Once this is done, the sites on the map will be coloured using the chosen settings. The data value will be shown if the mouse is moved over a site. The colour of the sites will update if you choose a different date.
NOTE: If no data is available for the time selected in the timeslider, the sites will be faded out and will say 'No Data' when the mouse is hovered over them. Try dragging the timeslider to a date which has data (ie. a date within the blue bar).
To add time series data to the charting window, click on a site to open the list of sensors. Choose a sensor, then a parameter. When a parameter is selected, the charting window will automatically appear and data for the chosen parameter will be added to the map.

To navigate within the chart, drag the chart left and right and use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out. Additional settings available for each series in the chart by clicking on the series in the chart legend.

Timeseries data can also be added to the chart. Moving the timeslider will move the chart as well as updating the data used to visualise the sites in the map.

Web services:

For power users, the SEQuITOR data services can be accessed directly. This allows for data to be consumed into modelling workflows, statistical tools or other custom built applications.

SEQuITOR's data services include:

Data type Software solution Services delivered URL
Gridded data THREDDS Data Server v4.3.20 OpenDAP, WMS, HTTP, WCS http://nc.sequitor.org.au
Time series data Sensor Message Gateway (SMG) and SensorCloud HTTP Rest http://sensor.sequitor.org.au
Metadata GeoNetwork v2.10.1 CSW, OAI-PMH, HTTP http://acef.tern.org.au/geonetwork
Map data GeoServer v2.3.2 WMS, WFS, HTTP http://acef.tern.org.au/geoserver

For more information about these services, or how to make use of them, please contact us.

Find SEQuITOR on Research Data Australia at: 

All SEQuITOR data is made available under the Creative Commons Australia Attribution 3.0 Licence.

The SEQuITOR portal source code is accessible through the CSIRO's Stash repository at https://stash.csiro.au/projects/TERN/repos/sequitor-portal under a GPLv3 licence.

Monday, 2 December 2013

User evaluation

Two key user groups have been consulted in the evaluation of SEQuITOR which can be simply divided as front-end users or back-end users. Front-end users access SEQuITOR services via the website and have an interest in data visualisation, overlaying disparate datasets and extracting data in human usable formats. Back-end users access the underlying web services and want to integrate a data feed into some sort of process such as modelling, data analysis, etc.

Key users were chosen from a management focused agency (front-end website testing) and an environmental modelling user (back-end web service testing).

Website evaluation and testing

For front-end evaluation, users registered with the SEQuITOR website and their access level elevated so that they could access data which has not yet been fully licenced for release. Users were then guided through a hands-on demonstration of capabilities before testing and evaluating a range of functions and features including:

  • general website look and feel
  • general website navigation
  • map-based visualisation of spatial layers
  • map-based visualisation of gridded (model) layers
  • map-based visualisation of time series layers
  • modification of gridded layer map styles
  • modification of time series layer map styles
  • chart-based visualisation of gridded layers (ie. pseudo-sites added to model layers)
  • chart-based visualisation of time series layers
  • navigation in time series charts

Web service evaluation

Web service end users were provided with the RESTful API end point and invited to evaluate how this could be integrated into modelling workflows. This was a very high level evaluation and will be fully assessed as model development continues. Full testing of the web service has not therefore been undertaken although informal testing has been undertaken to assess:
  • discoverability
  • scalability
  • accessibility
These three elements are key to using data via web services. 

Evaluation overview

In general, users were very positive and saw the opportunities that SEQuITOR presents from front-end and back-end aspects. Users were able to access information, visualisations and data in ways which met their needs. The portal was seen as a great improvement in the way that time series data in particular is accessed. The ability to incorporate time series data with model data and traditional spatial data was a key benefit.

Key issues and resolutions
The primary issues arising from both sets of evaluations and testing incuded:
  • model data issues
    Due to the size of the modelling data, the THREDDS data server occasionally has some memory issues when delivering information to the front end. This has been partially resolved although further optimisation of data and THREDDS is required
  • time series data definitions
    Some of the time series data uses acronyms or shortened versions of parameters, sites, etc which are not always understandable for end users. This is being rectified.
  • time slider vs time in charting interface
    There is some confusion around the use of the time slider vs the time axis in the charting interface. This has come about because the primary time slider has not been fully implemented yet. The time slider needs to display the start and end dates for data availability for each dataset loaded on the map. This will separate its functionality from the charting interface and make their purposes more obvious. This has been held up due to a restriction in the time series web services which will allow cross-parameter querying so that min/max values for all parameters can be returned more quickly
  • back end metadata content
    For web service use, connections between data services and metadata services are not always apparent or discoverable. The time series data, fore example will be defined in an ISO compliant metadata record, although this may not be easily discoverable when technical users are accessing data services. This is a key area of development moving forward from SEQuITOR and is being tackled in related projects such as eReefs. This is an area where concepts of Linked Open Data may help connect data and metadata with other services and content
  • metadata accessibility
    At present, there are minimal links between the front end and metadata records. This is being improved.
  • ease of download
    Data can be downloaded using the portal and although this is easier than the previous situation of finding the right contact person and emailing or phoning someone to request access, there is still room for improvement. Again, this is an area where the developments under SEQuITOR will feed out into other projects such as eReefs.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The SEQITOR team

The SEQITOR team is based in CSIRO and brings a mix of skills which will ensure the successful delivery of the project.

Friday, 18 January 2013

Why is SEQITOR needed and how do we know if it works?

At the moment, the research and management users which SEQITOR will be targeting use coastal data in a number of ways.

Coastal researchers tend to want direct access to data in a fairly raw format so that they can use it for analysis, modelling and manipulation.

Coastal managers, however, need synthesised or publishable products.

Who will use SEQITOR?

The primary users of SEQITOR will be coastal managers and researchers, although SEQITOR will also deliver tools and information to a wider audience which is becoming increasingly data-aware.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

SEQITOR technical overview

As mentioned in previous posts, the SEQITOR project is going to use a mix of open source technologies and OGC standards.

The diagram below presents a high level technical overview which shows how these services link together.

Monday, 14 January 2013

The SEQITOR Visualisation Portal

The SEQITOR portal will be the primary entry point for end users accessing the system. The portal will be a web based exploration tool for the myriad of data sets being made available on the web today. It will provide a dynamic web 2.0 experience for users to visualise, model, compare or download any of the available datasets. Not only will it be a useful tool in its own right, it will serve as a great example of what data communities using open web standards to deliver data can achieve.