A real-time spatio-temporal data exploration tool for marine research
thesisposted on 2023-05-26, 07:04 authored by Veness, A D
The resources required to acquire high quality scientific data in a marine environment can be great. The complication of acquiring data from a platform which pitches, rolls and heaves makes the challenge even greater. The variability of the weather and sea conditions, along with equipment failures, seemingly conspire against the marine scientist. There is a great need for good quality-control measures, accurate electronic record keeping, and effective voyage management at sea if a good outcome from an expensive sea voyage is to be expected. Typically, the plethora of navigation, data acquisition, quality control, Geographical Information Systems and databases used at sea on the world's research vessels do not allow an intuitive, holistic, spatial and temporal view of real-time data. How close are we to the ship track from our last visit to the region?‚ÄövÑvp or What was the deployment depth of the instrument when we were last at this site two years ago?‚ÄövÑvp are typical questions asked by those undertaking research far from shore. Answering these questions like these, in a timely manner, using systems commonly used on research vessels can be difficult. This study explored the combination of an open-source spatio-temporal DataBase Management System (DBMS) and Keyhole Markup Language (KML), creating a framework for the storage and exploration of real-time spatio-temporal data at sea. The framework supported multiple concurrent users using Virtual Globe browsers. This study created a methodology, which resulted in a functional software tool, MARVIN, using open-source software. Empirical and modelled datasets were used in conjunction with MARVIN, both at sea and in the laboratory. MARVIN was found to be able to provide a simple and intuitive 4D (3D + time) real-time view of spatio-temporal datasets, as they were collected at sea. The key combination of a spatio-temporal DBMS and KML, offered a robust solution for the storage of real-time data, undertaking of Geographical Information System (GIS) operations, and streaming of data to multiple clients, running Virtual Globe browsers such as Google Earth. The techniques implemented also support existing navigation, GIS, and numeric modelling software commonly used on modern research vessels.