Regional Metadatabase Tutorial

How to use the ISMN Meta-database

Welcome to the Northeast Sentinel Monitoring Geospatial Database tutorial with instructions on how to the Sentinel Monitoring Database to retrieve metadata about monitoring programs.

Tutorial Directory:
Database Overview
Page Orientation
Map Controls
Base Map Selection
Search Results

I. Database Overview

The purpose of the database is to capture information (metadata) about data sources that could be used to detect changes in the environment due to climate change. The individuals records provide general metadata information about data sources or monitoring programs. The database is a tool that can be used to identify regional or subregional networks to measure environmental change. Another application of the database is to identify data that may be at risk of being lost, and establish data rescue priorities.

II. Page Orientation

The following is a snapshot of the database page with callout boxes indicating the interactive elements of the page. The interactive elements of this page are:

  • Search database - search by Researcher or Region, or perform a Custom search
  • Choose a region from the drop-down list, or select either Researcher or Custom, and enter a search term in the text box that appears
  • Submit search - click on the Submit button to execute the search function (this will search all fields for each record)
  • Point locations corresponding to the search are displayed on the map
  • Pan & Zoom controls are located in the lower right corner of the map
    • to zoom out - double click on the map
    • to zoom out - hold Ctrl key and double click
  • Select base map - controls are in the upper left corner of the map - select Satellite (aerial photography) or Map (cartographic map)
  • List of search results - are returned in the text box on the left side of the page below the map.
  • Details of an individual record - are displayed in the text box on the right side of the page below the map.
    • Click a pin to generate a pop-up that provides a title for the record; click on the hyperlink and the full record displays below the map in the right column.
  • Move the map - click and drag to move the map
    • you can also use the arrow keys to move the map

Note: The location of the cursor on the page controls paging functions. If you clicked on the map, then scrolling will resize the map (zoom in or out). If the page was selected, then scrolling will cause the page to scroll up or down.

III. Map Controls

There are two maps controls available - navigation (pan/zoom) and base map type.

A. Navigation

In this section you will learn how to use the navigation controls to pan, zoom and activate street view.

B. Base Map

Select Satellite (below on the right) to view aerial photography or Map (below on the left) to view a cartographic map. In Satellite view, mouse over the Satellite button and a popup box called “Label” will appear. Click the box to display place and feature names.

Images of basemap views. Image of satellite view.

IV. Search 

Accessing database information (records) requires the use of the search tool. There are three components to the search tool. Choose a search method (#1) - select a radio button (Researcher, Custom or Region). Selecting Region generates a drop-down list (#2). Selecting Research or Custom requires the entering of a word, name, or phrase. To complete the search, click the submit button (#3).

Image of radio buttons for searching the database.
Note: To return all records in the database, choose Custom but leave the text box blank, and click the submit button.

V. Search Results 

The following image shows the results of a search. Locations are displayed on the map as either yellow or red pins. Yellow signifies all data for that record were collected at that location; red signifies that data for that record were collected from multiple locations, and the location of the pin is not representative of all of them. This approach was choosen to reduce map clutter. However, widely spaced stations such as NOAA tide stations each reflect an individual station. Click on a pin and a pop-up is displayed with the Program Name/Description. Click on the link in the pop-up, and the detailed record will display below the map.

Image of map displaying search results.

When a search is executed, a list of records is displayed below the map which contains the Program Names/Descriptions in the left column. The numbers correspond with the numbers on the map. Click on a link in the list in the left column, and the reocord will display in the right column.

A record returns the following information:

  • Monitoring Program Name
  • Collector Organization/Name
  • Address of Collector
  • Primary and Secondary Contacts
  • State or Province
  • Primary and Secondary Waterbody
  • Ecoregion
  • Latitude and Longitude - reported in decimal degrees
  • Monitoring Location Description
  • Habitat Type(s) and Quality
  • Monitoring Objective
  • Parameters Measured
  • Climate Change Indicator (Is a climate change indicator monitored)
  • Site Selection Method
  • Data Collection Equipment
  • Start and End of Data Collection
  • Collection Dates and Frequency
  • Data Format (digital or hard copy)
  • Digital Data Format
  • Spatial Data - yes (Data is collected for multiple locations) or no (Data comes from a single sampling location)
  • Website
  • Metadata File (Is a metadata file available)
  • QA/QC (Is there a quality control protocol)
  • Data Distribution Policy (Is data public/open access or not)
  • Citations
  • Documents
  • Comments
  • Sentinel - these are indicators and core parameters identified in the Strategic Plan.
  • Historic Data
  • Managed Areas
  • Partnerships
  • Regional Observation Networking
  • Synthesis
  • Long-term Monitoring