Information Management: Data Development Services

Coweeta IM's primary mission is the security, consistency, and availability of research data by Coweeta LTER affiliated investigors. In addition to these efforts, the Coweeta IM also contributes to Coweeta research by offering a variety of services in the development of databases using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS). Our efforts in GIS and RDBMS development are focused on projects that will be used by a large percentage of Coweeta's Investigators and that cover broad temporal and spatial scales. We also support investigators in the presentation of their data by providing services geared toward building high quality data visualization products for both digital and print media. If you are interested in any of the services below, please email the IM for more information.

Geographic Information Systems 

  • Regional Basemap Assembly: We have assembled a wide variety of high quality, up-to-date GIS products that will allow researchers working in the Southern Appalachia to easily and quickly assemble a basic set of GIS data to contextualize their research. Raster-based sets include Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), DEM-derived products (slope, hillshade, etc.) Digital Raster Graphics (DRGs), Imagery, and Land Cover Classicifications. Vector products include roads, stream networks, and boundaries for governmental entities
  • Watershed Delineation: With the gracious assistance of Dr. Nate Nibbelink of the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, the Coweeta LTER has developed expertise and a set of ESRI ArcGIS-based modeling tools for quickly and consistently building watershed boundaries in large numbers. These tools are available to PIs, Post-Docs, Partners, and Graduate Students, as well as assistance in using the tools. 
  • Land Cover Classification: Dr. Jeff Heppinstall, Coweeta Co-PI, oversees several of the Land Cover Classification Projects that have taken place within the IM Lab. These include an improved model for our AGTRANS data and a vector-based intensive classification of our Synoptic Sampling Watersheds.

Relational Database Management Systems 

  • Entity-Relationship Modeling: Many large-scale analyses require the collection of complex data and may therefore justify the use of a Relational Database Management Systems approach. In these cases, Coweeta IM can facilitate research in the pre-proposal or pre data-collection phases by consultatively assisting in the initial design of a relational database schema. Please email the IM for more information on this service.
  • Legacy Data Processing: Some long-term data sets may require import into an RDBMS framework to be useful to a broader audience. Coweeta IM has experience with these kinds of projects. Successful examples include both the Little Tennessee Watershed Association Biomonitoring Database and the Ecotrends Socio-Economic Catalog. Typically, such projects will result in products that serve large numbers of Coweeta investigators and have a broader impact on the community. These projects require LPI approval. 
  • Development: Coweeta IM has also been involved in design-to-deployment phase development of several large scale databases. As is the case with legacy databases, such projects require the assurance of broadly impactful products and need LPI approval.  

Data Visualization & Analysis

  • Cartographic Design: Impactful maps are key to presenting spatial information. The Coweeta IM Office usually has more than one staffer available to consult on cartographic design or to produce maps that will be broadly useful to the project.
  • Posters and Presentations: Coweeta IM offers on-site poster printing services for posters up to 42" x 60". We also offer templates for both posters and powerpoint presentations, as well as guides for designing posters and slide presentations.
  • Matlab-based Data Processing, Analysis & Visualization:  Coweeta IM uses the GCE-Matlab Toolbox to process many of long-term monitoring datasets. This tool is freely available to anyone with a Matlab license and Coweeta IM offers some basic training of this powerful toolbox developed by the GCE LTER.