The Tropical Data Hub - A Virtual Research Environment for Tropical Science Knowledge and Discovery
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Abstract: Tropical regions support some of the world's most diverse and unique ecosystems. However, these sensitive areas are under increasing pressures that significantly threaten their future sustainability. To help better manage tropical regions, a need exists for more informed environmental monitoring procedures. Currently, data is collected in disjoint repositories that are not visible or accessible for reuse. As data is not being publicised, there are missed opportunities for the holistic discovery of trends that influence tropical ecosystems. This paper presents the Tropical Data Hub as an e-research infrastructure to congregate significant tropical data sets for cross-domain analyses and knowledge discovery. The Hub serves as a focal point for the amalgamation of disparate data sources to facilitate data reuse, integration, searching, and correlation by environmental researchers and government departments for discovery and decision making. More suitable environmental management practices may then be devised via crossdisciplinary data that depicts a more accurate representation of the status. The system automates the data capture process and incorporates semantic technologies to provide knowledge discovery. We present two successful visualisation applications that demonstrate the Hub's capacity to enhance tropical environmental research. The first assesses land space use, and the second assesses potential impacts of climate change on global biodiversity.
International Journal of Sustainability Education
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