An integrated database for marine research
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In 1992 an integrated model for marine research data was developed at the Institute of Marine Research. Traditionally, the marine research disciplines collect data from their own fields, normally used in a limited context. In many research programs there is a strong need to crossrelate data from various sources. To accomplish this it is essential to establish an integrated database, with a uniform data representation and a structure that is flexible enough to represent all kinds of marine data. A centralized database increases the availability, avoids redundancy and enforces access control and protection against loss of data. The model is based on a generic data structure where "platform", "operation", "object" and "measurement" are central entities. In an operation (e.g. trawling) on a platform (e.g. ship), series of measurements (e.g. lengths) of different objects (e.g. fish) are gathered. Data can be classified according to different systems (e.g. taxonomy, regions and methods). The database is implemented in the Ingres relational database system running on HP9000/755 computers with Unix operating system and connected to the institute's local network and Internet. Tests have been carried out to evaluate functionality and performance. While the test results are acceptable, minor immediate modifications are needed. The database will be subject to further development in the future. Currently, work is in progress on data quality assurance, inserting data into the database and adapting software applications. The database is planned to be in regular use at the end of 1993.