by Jannean Elliott on Fri, October 12, 2012
There are databases, and then there are treasure maps. The DOE Data Explorer (DDE) merges the two concepts into a product offering the best of both. DDE’s database provides the features needed for simple retrieval or advanced searching. The treasure map aspect comes from DDE’s content, which links you to collections of data and non-text information wherever those collections reside.
Instead of sailing the seven seas, you can browse DDE’s seven types of content. Choose “Browse by Content Type” from the drop down menu on the DDE homepage and hit the “Submit” button. Each one of the seven categories shown on the results page will open a list of every collection tagged in DDE with that particular type of content. Naturally, “Numeric Files/Datasets” is a content type with a huge “footprint.” High-Energy Physics (HEP) data from experiments at DOE’s National Laboratories, Scientific User Facilities, CERN, and prestigious universities vie for the most visible presence on the treasure map with terabytes of climate and environmental data gathered around the globe and made available by DOE Data Centers such as the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC) and the archive for the Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program.
Browse “Interactive Data Maps” to discover sophisticated, layered views of everything from nuclides to energy resource data (solar, wind, geothermal, etc.) to genetic details of plant and animal kingdoms, to carbon sinks, the ocean floor, and drought-stricken land.
If you want graphs and charts, diagrams, and data plots, the DOE Data Explorer can show you where “X” marks the spot. Or, if you want a little more action from your treasure haul, check out the collections of computer models and resulting simulations, along with downloadable tools, codes, and sample data that will help you generate your own results.
“Multimedia” is the content type that will guide you to animations, webinars, and video collections hundreds of hours deep. If you simply want “Scientific Images,” you’ll find catalogues of digital images from space, technical posters from conference sessions, event images from particle accelerators, historical images from famous projects, and image libraries from every lab.
The “Specialized Mix” category leads to an amazing wealth of genome data. You’ll also find materials databases, data books, and repositories designed to be information frameworks, knowledge bases, and portals. A key factor is that the content of the collection was designed to be a "specialized mix”. The way the information is put together is what gives it meaning, and it probably doesn’t exist elsewhere except in pieces.
So follow the “Browse” links and explore the rich realm of DOE’s data and non-text information. Or, select “DOE Data Centers” on DDE’S menu bar and try some of the highly specialized interfaces that will help you dig deeper. Search the database by subject categories or visit some of the hundreds of organizations listed in DDE citations as partners and collaborators. Pick up the widget for your web page. However you choose to follow the treasure map of the DOE Data Explorer, you’re almost certain to find new paths you’ve never followed before, new resources you haven’t used before, and the prize of information you’ll want to bookmark for frequent return.