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Project: Taxonomic Data Management and Visualization System

Background and Objectives

As datasets are produced, data management and handling approaches must receive, store, process, and integrate these data. Once integrated, the data should ideally be made accessible for additional processing by analytical tools that compute indices or support environmental models, data visualization, and decision support systems. Indices of biological integrity, for example, use complex taxonomic information and species abundance to calculate simple scores that are comparable across locations and more easily understood by managers and the public. Manual calculation of index results is time-consuming, though, and may be complicated by changes in the species' taxonomic classifications over time.

The goal of this project is to create and support a taxonomic data management system with capabilities to (a) manage and update taxonomic revisions, (b) easily compute benthic indices, and (c) visualize the resulting data.

A map-based data visualization interface will allow users to compare their data to existing data sets within Southern California (e.g., results from the 1998 to 2008 Bight Regional Monitoring Programs).


This project was initiated in 2011 with anticipated completion in 2015.


Development of data management and visualization applications involves three main tasks:

  1. Identifying and assessing the best practices, programming libraries, and computational approaches for accomplishing data analysis and visualization in a web environment;
  2. Developing a robust foundation for custom web applications that provides for rapid deployment of data processing, computation, and modeling applications; and
  3. Creating web applications for data handling and analysis that are not otherwise accessible to SCCWRP collaborators and the broader scientific and management communities.

The current effort is specific to Southern California's Benthic Response Index (BRI), although this technology could be adapted to benthic indices developed for other regions. Taxonomic listings are based on historic and current species classifications used by the Southern California Association of Marine Invertebrate Taxonomists (SCAMIT). SCAMIT is currently assisting SCCWRP with beta testing, and the tool will be added to SCCWRP's data tools library when it becomes available.


This project is being conducted in partnership with SCAMIT.


Integrating Assessment Tools and Geospatial Visualization: The Benthic Condition Example (Video) - January 2012 presentation to SCCWRP member agency staff describing the goals and function of the BRI data calculation and visualization tool.

For more information on Taxonomic Data Management and Visualization System, contact Shelly Moore at (714) 755-3207.
This page was last updated on: 7/18/2014