The Data Discovery Portal for Underwater Acoustic data

Infrastructure diagram
Authors:   Project Team

Underwater acoustic data is important for understanding the oceans and how sound affects the marine environment. To record underwater sounds produced by, for instance, marine mammals, waves, and ships, and to capture the complexity and interactions of the marine soundscape, hydrophones and other acoustic recording devices are used. These devices capture massive amounts of unstructured data, which is difficult to manage. In addition, sound propagation models produce gridded data that are often used to visualize the propagation of noise over time.

To improve discoverability, accessibility and reusability of underwater acoustic data we are developing and implementing a data discovery platform. This project consists of four main elements or sub-projects, (A) the development of a metadata standard to appropriately describe underwater acoustic data addressing the community’s needs, (B) the development and implementation of the technical backend, (C) a user-friendly information submission interface, and (D) a multi-layer search and discovery interface to ensure the data’s findability

  1. We have developed a metadata profile for underwater acoustic data, which is interoperable with other profiles and conventions based on the ISO 19115 standard, such as the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System Metadata Convention for Passive Acoustic Recordings. The MERIDIAN metadata profile also incorporates the Darwin Core metadata standard for biological information, allowing for the description of e.g. species information and easier integration with services such as the Ocean Biogeographic Information System.
  2. We use GeoNetwork, an open-source application based on XML and designed for geospatial metadata, to manage and catalogue our rich metadata. GeoNetwork supports CSW and OAI-PMH harvesting, two common protocols for exposing geospatial catalogues on the web. It also allowed us to create a plugin to support our custom metadata standard and supports Elastic Search integration, a search engine framework, for more robust querying.
  3. Rather than using GeoNetwork’s built-in submission interface, we are developing a custom submission interface to upload metadata records to our GeoNetwork. By using easily understandable and well-defined terminology, the submission interface will be user-friendly to allow for easy metadata submission.
  4. We are developing a customized user interface for searching and displaying metadata records to reflect the requirements of the underwater acoustic community. GeoNetwork provides an API for querying record data, which we will use to create a custom web interface. To ensure that the search and discovery interface is robust and user-friendly, we combine Elastic Search with GeoNetwork to expand searching capabilities. This will allow us to use keyword and subject-based search as well create a map-based searching component. Our service will allow researchers, data scientists, and other users to discover and, if available, access data that stored in various locations in Canada.