eAtlas – Data management for environmental research

Eric Lawrey
Led by: Dr Eric Lawrey, AIMS


Project Summary

Having ready access to the best available information, scientific knowledge and data is vital for evidence based environmental management and for science that builds on the prior work of others. The eAtlas is a web based knowledge and data management system for environmental research data. Its systems ensure that data is discoverable, publicly accessible and preserved for the future.

This project will allow the eAtlas team to work with NESP TWQ researchers to:

  • Assist and support them with data management guidance and training.
  • Ensure that hub data is well documented, accessible and reusable now and into the future.
  • Visualize spatial data allowing its use by management without specialized GIS software.

This project will also engage stakeholders to establish and implement refinements to the eAtlas systems to remove existing barriers to its broader use.


Project Publications






Problem Statements


Having access to the best available scientific data and knowledge is vital for evidence based environmental management. Much of science is based on building on the foundation of prior work of others and in environmental research much of the data collected now will have significant historic value in the future as the climate is changing. It is therefore vital that we ensure that data developed by the NESP TWQ projects is preserved for the future and made readily available for reuse by management and researchers.

Making well documented data widely accessible has the following benefits:

  • Vital source of information for planning and informed decisions by environmental managers
  • Increased productivity of science and management through easier reuse
  • Facilitation and support of research reliant on many data sources
  • Increasing the value obtained from data that is expensive to gather
  • Opportunity for an informed public

Good data management is typically given a low priority by the research community. The effort required to make data openly available is seen as taking valuable time away from research and publications. It is therefore vital for the hub to have team of specialised data managers that can provide encouragement and assistance to researchers with data management.

How Research Addresses Problem

The primary role of the eAtlas, and this project, is to support researchers with the documentation, curation and publication of their research data, to ensure that this data is accessible and reusable now and into the future. The eAtlas provides and develops the systems necessary for making the research data discoverable via the web. It also maintains a curated data repository to ensure the long term preservation of the data and a platform for visualizing spatial data to allow the data to be used directly for planning by researchers and managers without the need for specialised GIS software.

Alignment with NESP Research Priorities

This is not a research project. Its role is to facilitate knowledge exchange and to archive the research outputs of NESP TWQ projects.


Project Keywords

Data management; Metadata; Visualization; Data discovery; Science reuse.


Project Funding

This project is jointly funded through AIMS and the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Programme.