[Coral-List] introducing... the CHAMP Portal

Mike Jankulak mike.jankulak at noaa.gov
Fri Oct 17 13:10:41 EDT 2014

As many of you know, Coral-List is hosted by researchers at NOAA's
Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML).
Collectively, us coral folk are known as the Coral Health and Monitoring
Program, or CHAMP.

Over the years we've amassed various large collections of oceanographic
and meteorological data.  Some of these come from monitoring stations
we've constructed and deployed ourselves, what you may know as CREWS
(Coral Reef Early Warning System) stations.  Other in situ data sources
include SEAKEYS (a program that put oceanographic sensors on a series of
C-MAN stations operated by NDBC on the old light towers in the Florida
Keys) and MApCO2 (buoys dedicated to the study of ocean acidification).
 We also harvest (or are sent) certain data parameters from satellite
observations, at points of interest where no in situ instruments are
deployed.  These are locations we call "virtual" stations.

That's the background for what came next:  a database to organize and
archive these data, and a web page to allow the public to view and
download them.  The database receives data in near-realtime, so often
you can see measurements from within the last hour from our CREWS
stations.  The web page is built on Google Maps technology, and it will
load requested data into spreadsheets (suitable for download and offline
analysis) and draw timeplots of the selected parameters.

All of these pieces together are known as the "CHAMP Portal," and it can
be found online here:


We are calling this a beta release because it's a work in progress right
now.  We have more data archives that we haven't loaded yet.  The
interface was cleverly replicated from an existing project at AOML to
get us online quickly, and could use some redesign to work more
intuitively with our specific data offerings.  The data currently
presented are warts-and-all raw transmissions that do not reflect the
extensive Quality Assurance cleanups we've done over the years.  And
because we haven't yet drawn too much attention to the portal's
existence, our traffic levels have been relatively low, so we could
still run into memory or performance glitches as the demand increases.

That's where you come in, if you'd like.  We'd like to you visit the
site and kick the tires a bit.  Questions we're trying to answer include:

* How much of a demand is there for these data?

* Does the site stand up to heavier traffic?

* Is there enough explanation there of how the site works?

* Are there any design elements that are screamingly non-intuitive?

* What's missing?  Missing data, missing functionality?

Your comments and suggestions are welcome, and can be sent to this address:

  champ at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>

I do ask if you are reporting some kind of error or problem that you
include as much information as you can about your computer's operating
system and what browser you are using.  For example, "I got error X when
clicking such-and-such a button, and I was using Firefox on my Windows 7
computer."  Please don't be shy about complaining, or making suggestions
for improvement!  Given our underlying assumption (there is an audience
out there who will want to see these data), our goal is to make this
into a site that people will feel comfortable with enough to return to.

Thanks in advance for your time and your feedback!

Mike J+

Mike Jankulak, Systems Administrator, University of Miami / CIMAS
NOAA / Atlantic Oceanographic Meteorological Laboratory
4301 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149 -- 305-361-4543

More information about the Coral-List mailing list