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Anuieas Bueni
, Lauiie Chisholm
, Lola Suaiez
, Cinuy 0ng
, Natthew Wyatt

Remote Sensing Laboiatoiies, 0niveisity of Zuiich, Switzeilanu
Institute of Conseivation Biology anu Enviionmental Nanagement, School of
Eaith anu Enviionmental Sciences, 0niveisity of Wollongong, NSW, Austialia
School of Nathematical anu ueospatial Sciences. RNIT 0niveisity, Nelbouine,
CSIR0 Eaith Science anu Resouice Engineeiing, Austialia
ivECAustialian National Bata Seivice

Scientific effoits to obseive the state of natuial systems ovei time, allowing the pieuiction of
futuie states, have leu to a buigeoning inteiest foi oiganiseu stoiage of spectial fielu uata anu
associateu metauata, seen as being key to the successful anu efficient moueling of such
systems. A centialiseu system foi such uata establisheu foi the Austialian iemote sensing
community aims to stanuaiuise stoiage paiameteis anu metauata thus fosteiing best piactice
piotocols anu collaboiative ieseaich. Suppoiteu by funuing fiom the Austialian National Bata
Seivice (ANBS), whose aim is to piomote connections between uata, piojects, ieseaicheis anu
institutions, a spectial uatabase system baseu on the alieauy opeiational SPECCBI0 system is
being augmenteu to specifically meet the neeus of the Austialian iemote sensing community, anu
is aligneu with the TERN Auscovei facility. In this papei we outline the envisageu uataflow anu
usage of the uatabase as a case stuuy within the context of TERN Auscovei. The uevelopment of a
national spectial uatabase will not only ensuie the long-teim stoiage of uata but suppoit
scientists in uata analysis activities, essentially leauing to impioveu iepeatability of iesults,
supeiioi iepiocessing capabilities, anu piomotion of best piactice.
Keywoius: Spectial Batabase, Fielu Spectioscopy, Bata Shaiing
Anuieas Bueni's main ieseaich inteiests aie the uevelopment of spectial uata piocessing
systems anu uatabases, anu the calibiation of imaging spectiometeis. Be is the authoi of the
SPECCBI0 spectial uatabase anu APEX (Aiiboine Piism Expeiiment) calibiation anu piocessing
Lauiie Chisholm's ieseaich inteiests focus on the application of auvanceu spatial science
techniques anu the uevelopment of spectial inuices to investigate the impacts of uistuibances on
ecological systems at a iange of scales. She is involveu in the compilation of spectial libiaiies in
suppoit of ieseaich anu valiuation of image piouucts anu managei of the ANBS Pioject BC-1u,
uevelopment of a national spectial uatabase system.
Lola Suiez holus a PhB in iemote sensing of vegetation stiess. Bei ieseaich inteiests incluue
vegetation biophysical piopeities estimation anu up-scaling methouologies to uiffeient spatial
iesolutions using hypeimultispectial iemote sensing, anu iauiative tiansfei moueling.
Cinuy 0ng's ieseaich inteiests aie focuseu on ueiiving quantitative measuiements fiom
hypeispectial uata. She has extensive expeiience on the application of hypeispectial technology
foi enviionmental measuiements foi the mineial inuustiy anu iegulatoiy iequiiements.
Nathew is a technical managei anu analyst on a numbei of eReseaich piojects aiounu Austialia,
anu aviu suppoitei of open anu collaboiative uata piojects such as the BC-1u pioject.


Fielu spectioscopy, paiticulaily the measuiement of the spectial ieflectance of teiiestiial oi
aquatic featuies, is wiuely useu as a tool foi a vaiiety of ieseaich opeiations anu applications anu
plays a ciitical iole in the calibiation anu valiuation of image uata fiom iemote sensing
In Austialia theie is a wealth of fielu spectioscopy uata collecteu fiom a vaiiety of instiuments
pioviuing measuiements at multiple scales anu foi wiue-ianging puiposes:
- as giounu tiuth collecteu in suppoit of a iemote sensing valiuation campaign to ielate
image uata to ieal featuies anu mateiials on the giounu;
- to calibiate iemote sensing uata anu sensois;
- to pioviue a spectial iefeience foi mateiials on the Eaith suiface;
- to ueteimine mixtuies of mateiials oi investigate uisciiminatoiy capacity to uiscein a
paiticulai mateiial oi examine the behavioui of spectia fiom influencing factois; anu
- to answei ieseaich questions acioss a multituue of uisciplines.
Bata fiom these wiue-ianging captuie events aie often stoieu in silos - on ftp stoies, local
machines, in uata uisks, anu histoiically aie not well uocumenteu. These uata, especially if
inuepenuent valiuation uata weie collecteu concuiiently, aie extiemely valuable yet aie not
uiscoveiable by otheis uoing expeiiments in similai aieas, on similai sample types oi iequiiing
iefeiences foi ceitain mateiials. Theie aie also geneially no linkages between the iemotely-
senseu uata, the fielu valiuation spectia anu the inuepenuent valiuation uata (eg. XRB uata foi
mineialogy; vegetation moistuie content foi bushfiie fuel assessment).
Spectial uatabases aie systems foi the stoiage of spectial uata acquiieu by spectioiauiometeis
unuei both fielu anu laboiatoiy conuitions, augmenteu with associateu auxiliaiy uata (Bueni et
al., 2u11). By uefinition, uata aie being tiansfoimeu into infoimation when they aie being
stiuctuieu, euiteu oi piocesseu. Infoimation may be piocesseu to foim new infoimation anu
hence the uata anu infoimation tieis as uepicteu in the BIKW (Ackoff, 1989, Rowley, 2uu7)
pyiamiu in Figuie 1 may be iegaiueu as a continuum (Beiolu, 2uuS). A spectial uatabase
iequiies uata input mechanisms that stoie uata acquiieu by sensois in the uatabase, usually also
entailing the automatic ingestion of metauata. Bence, spectial uatabases builu a ceitain amount
of infoimation upon uata loau.
Spectial infoimation systems take spectial uatabases a step fuithei by making uata helu by the
uatabases ietiievable anu usable by othei useis oi systems anu by auuing piocessing
functionalities that fuithei tiansfoim the uata oi infoimation helu by the system, in tuin
geneiating moie infoimation. This coulu e.g. involve the geneiation of highei-level piouucts oi
spectial uata coiiecteu foi sampling equipment oi sensoi aitefacts.
Nost essentially, spectial infoimation systems aie no longei meie uata iepositoiies but systems
that suppoit the scientists in analyzing theii uata utilizing the full potential of combineu
metauata spaces (Wason anu Wiley, 2uuu) anu spectial spaces. It this point, such systems aie no
longei peiceiveu as an encumbiance but as a tool to impiove the ieseaich piocess. Fuitheimoie,
such spectial infoimation systems allow uata exchange anu suppoit the ieuse of existing spectial
uata foi uiffeient applications.
Funueu by the Austialian National Bata Seivice (ANBS), anu stimulateu by the TERN AusCovei
anu ACEAS facilities, anu membeis of the wiuei Austialian iemote sensing community,
Austialian effoits to uevelop inteinational stanuaius foi the exchange of spectial uata anu
ielateu metauata aie ieaching fiuition in the foim of a compiehensive national spectial uatabase
The aim of this pioject is to uevelop a centialiseu system to house spectial libiaiies anu
associateu metauata. The iepositoiy will allow the Austialian iemote sensing community to
collate, shaie anu uiscovei existing spectial libiaiies anu facilitate the captuie of new uatasets as
they aie foimeu.

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The system specifications piesenteu heieaftei aie baseu on a iequiiements anu gap analysis
caiiieu out uuiing a TERN ACEAS woikshop on best piactices associateu with bio-optical uata in
miu-2u12. Involving stakeholueis fiom multiple uisciplines within the Austialian anu
inteinational iemote sensing community, the gap analysis has been expanueu with an aim to
consoliuate anu piioiitise system iequiiements to ensuie the final piouuct meets the neeus of
enu useis. Nany iequiieu featuies aie alieauy pioviueu by the cuiient SPECCBI0 system (Bueni
et al., 2uu9) that was ie-engineeieu in 2uu6 anu has been constantly upgiaueu anu impioveu
since then; these suppoiteu featuies aie listeu in Table 1.
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Featuie Besciiption Implementation uetails
Public ieau access foi automatically cieateu useis Stanuaiu
Electionic inseit of new uata Suppoiteu via vaiious uata loaueis
Befinition of coie metauata set via SPECCBI0 policy concept
0iganiseu stoiage of uata Bata aie stoieu in campaigns, each
spectium has a unique iuentifiei
Automateu output foimatting when expoiting uata SPECCBI0 file output ioutines
Inseit of new uata iecoius into existing collections SPECCBI0 uelta loauing capability
Belete uata fiom uatabase SPECCBI0 uata iemovei
uianulaiity of metauata uesciiption 0n single spectium level, but gioup
upuates possible to stieamline input
Naintaining quality (numbei of metauata enteieu) via SPECCBI0 policy concept anu
SPECCBI0 metauata space uensity
No anonymous uata access uuaianteeu by uatabase access iights
Backup of uata owneu by a gioup Stoiage as XNL files
Bata access options: file expoit, uiiect BB access SPECCBI0 file output ioutines anu uiiect
BB access using }ava biiuging
Bownloau uata in a specific foimat CSv anu ENvI SLB aie cuiiently suppoiteu
Bownloau of metauata Full metauata aie incluueu in the CSv
Inteiaction with othei systems via }ava biiuging (Natlab, Python, R, etc)
Impoit of uata into statistics packages CSv files
Bata analysis in open souice softwaie CSv files oi via uiiect uatabase access
(Python, R anu similai open souice
languages suppoiting }ava biiuging)
0nline anu offline woik possible Local BB installation. This allows the use
unuei fielu conuitions.
Selecting uata foi uownloau via metauata space iestiictions uefineu in
the SPECCBI0 queiy builuei oi queiies
wiitten by usei foi specific cases
Suppoit foi uistiibuteu systems Bata exchange via XNL foimat

The featuies listeu in Table 2 iepiesent a compilation of manuatoiy as well as uesiiable
functionality that will be piioiitiseu
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Featuie Besciiption
Reseaich gioup concept Bata can be owneu by a gioup insteau of only a single usei
0sei uata upuate via web inteiface
Concept of PI's A uata is also owneu by a PI
Loauing of ancillaiy files Augmenting spectial collections with metauata helu by
Bata impoit fiom anothei system Auu new file ieauing ioutines as inteifaces to such systems
Netauata upuates oveiwiiting
existing entiies shoulu be loggeu
Netauata euiting action logs with iefeience to involveu
Assessing uata quality 0se concepts uevelopeu at RNIT, Nelbouine
Suppoit of usage piofiles 0sei gioup specific uata euiting masks
Aichive uata Fieeze uata at a given state anu uisable euiting
Intenueu context inuicatoi Euucational, tiaining, test, ieseaich, etc.
Befineu on campaign level.
Invite S
paities to access uata Auuing new peisons to an existing gioup foi a limiteu time,
e.g. foi ieviewing
Community builuing Facebook similai featuies
Web access of BB Bata can be accesseu without local installation of
SPECCBI0 uesktop application
Publicpiivate visibility of
Some uata can be embaigoeu by the PI foi a ceitain time
while woik oi publishing is ongoing
Bownloau of oiiginal uata files Stoie a copy of the files on a fileseivei uuiing uata
ingestion anu make them available foi uownloau
Expoit of uata to e.g. uIS foimats Auu expoiting ioutines foi iuentifieu softwaie iequiieu by
enu useis

An initial gap analysis iuentifieu the potential of the SPECCBI0 system to seive as a basis foi the
uevelopment of a national spectial uatabase foi the Austialian iemote sensing community. The
following methous thus iepiesent a mix of the cuiient capabilities of the SPECCBI0 system anu
of featuies that will be uevelopeu oi enhanceu in the scope of the spectial uatabase uevelopment.
The geneial uataflow (Figuie S) staits with a uata ingestion piocess, loauing spectioiauiometei
geneiateu uata files to the uatabase. This step involves extiacting as many metapaiameteis as
possible fiom the files to ieuuce the manual metauata input. Input files suppoiteu at the time of
wiiting aie:
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File Foimat Comments
ASB binaiy Analytical Spectial Bevices, olu anu new file foimats
uER uER instiuments text files
NFR NFR Sun Photometei text files
SvC SvC BR-1u24 files
Apogee Apogee text files, pieliminaiy suppoit
ENvI SLB ENvI spectial libiaiy files
0cean 0ptics 0cean 0ptics SpectiaSuite text files
0niSpec 0niSpec Single Beam anu Bual Beam text files
FuI BBFS BBFS files with uata stiuctuie piopiietaiy to the Finnish ueouetic Institute
Text Columnai, space sepaiateu spectial uata
SPECPR Spectial file foimat by 0SuS, also geneiateu by the 0SuS PRISN softwaie

Netauata of uata containeu in the uatabase can be augmenteu by using a metauata euiting u0I.
This piocess is stieamlineu by the concept of gioup upuates, wheie a spectial collection can be
upuateu in one opeiation. Bata helu by the system can be piocesseu anu visualiseu within the
SPECCBI0 }ava application, but these capabilities aie iathei geneiic anu iuuimentaiy as it is
viitually impossible to catei foi all possible usei neeus within the }ava application. Bata may be
expoiteu to iegulai files with CSv anu ENvI SLB being the cuiient output options.
Noie complex oi usei specific piocessing, analysis anu visualization can be implementeu in
piogiamming languages that suppoit scientific, exploiatoiy woik at a much gieatei extent than
}ava. Such highei-level algoiithms can piactically be easily implementeu in any language that
suppoits }ava biiuging in some fashion. The geneial concept is to use SPECCBI0 }ava 0bjects to
connect to the uatabase anu make spectial uata anu metauata available to the language of choice.
Natlab anu Python have been pioven to seamlessly inteiact with SPECCBI0 uatabases anu the
same is expecteu to holu tiue foi fuithei languages such as R anu IBL. APIs (Application
Piogiammei Inteifaces) pioviueu by the SPECCBI0 system softwaie suppoit uatabase queiies,
selections anu inseits, i.e. all inteiactions with the ielational uatabase management system
(RBBNS) (Figuie 2).

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This capability is extiemely poweiful, as it gives scientists the fieeuom to uevelop theii own
algoiithms anu uata analysispiocessing flows while basing on a stable anu abstiacteu
founuation that hanules all the queiying, uata loauing, inseiting as well as housekeeping
iegaiuing metauata anu consistency of spectial spaces.

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The SPECCBI0 system can be easily ueployeu on uatabase seiveis with oi without Inteinet
access oi on local woikstations oi even on fielu laptops. A possible ontology is shown in Figuie 4.
This allows a flexible anu usei-neeu tailoieu use of the system, e.g. to limit the uata access to in-
house ieseaicheis, oi to facilitate uata stoiage anu piocessing uuiing fielu campaigns wheie
Inteinet access may be impossible. SPECCBI0 offeis a file-baseu option to exchange uata
between uistiibuteu uatabases anu thus allows consoliuating the uata in a cential seivei once
ueemeu appiopiiate to uo so by the uata piouucei (Bueni et al., 2u11).

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The Teiiestiial Ecosystem Reseaich Netwoik (TERN) AusCovei facility was cieateu to facilitate
the piouuction of valiuateu satellite-ueiiveu biophysical map piouucts foi the ecosystem
ieseaich community anu natuial iesouice manageis (TERN 2u1u). The Auscovei netwoik
stiives to cieate these piouucts within the fiamewoik of establisheu Austialian valiuation
piogiams following establisheu inteinational eaith obseivation piotocols.
0sing a TERN Auscovei fielu campaign as a case stuuy illustiates the use of the cuiient
SPECCBI0 system as uata iepositoiy anu as a platfoim foi post-piocessing anu stoiage of
accoiuing iesults in the uatabase.
In Apiil 2u12 hypeispectial anu Liuai imageiy weie acquiieu ovei Rushwoith State Foiest in
victoiia. The stuuy site consists of a iefeience aiea locateu within the main box-iionbaik foiest
19 km NW fiom Nagambie. . Simultaneously, fielu uata collection was conuucteu consisting of
vegetation stiuctuie measuiements anu leaf sampling. The aim of this fielu campaign was to
chaiacteiise leaf chemistiy anu spectioscopy foi a numbei of tiees in the stuuy site. A total of 96
stanus iepiesentative of the five most abunuant species weie selecteu. 0nly tiees which ciown
spectia coulu be extiacteu fiom the imageiy weie consiueieu foi selection. As a iesult, none of
the selecteu tiees weie suppiesseu oi shauoweu by the suiiounuing ciowns. Fiom each selecteu
tiee, one bianch fiom the uppei-most thiiu of the ciown was shot uown anu a set of matuie
leaves was taken foi fuithei analysis. Auuitional metauata collecteu foi eveiy tiee consisteu of
stanu cooiuinates, tiee species, height, tiunk uiametei at bieast height (BBB), ciown uiametei,
ciown peicentage covei anu position of the ciown in ielation to the suiiounuing tiees (i.e.
uominant, co-uominant oi isolateu). In the following houis, an integiating spheie (Analytical
Spectial Bevices, Bouluei, C0) was useu to measuie ieflectance anu tiansmittance spectia of S of
the leaves collecteu pei tiee. Anothei gioup of leaves weie scanneu anu weigheu to estimate
specific leaf aiea, anu a thiiu set was sent to a laboiatoiy foi chemical analysis.
The spectial measuiements weie acquiieu using a FieluSpec Pio spectiometei (Analytical
Spectial Bevices, Bouluei, C0) attacheu to the integiating spheie thiough a baie fibei.
Neasuiements to coiiect foi the misalignment of the light souice weie taken foi eveiy
ieflectance anu tiansmittance measuiement.
Buiing uata ingestion the SPECCBI0 ASB file foimat ieauei loaus uata fiom the file system into
the uatabase. This is a stanuaiu piocess anu uata aie immeuiately available foi spheie post-
piocessing. To give useis a bettei contiol of the piocessing applieu, an inteiactive giaphical usei
inteiface wiitten in Natlab using SPECCBI0 }ava components is useu (Figuie 6). The left hanu
siue of the u0I holus the Spectial Bata Biowsei component, uisplaying the content of the
uatabase in hieiaichical foim anu allowing the selection of spectial uata. Such a selection is the
staiting point foi the uataflow ensuing as illustiateu in Figuie S. 0nce uata aie selecteu, theii
uatabase iuentifieis will be loaueu. These aie then iteiateu ovei uuiing the spectia loauing,
selecting spectium iecoius fiom the uatabase anu making the spectial uata available as Natlab
matiices. Two moues aie suppoiteu by the u0I: (a) gioup by gioup inteiactive piocessing anu
(b) automatic piocessing. The foimei option piocesses one gioup consisting of the foui iaw
measuiements, uisplays the iaw spectia anu the iesulting coiiecteu ieflectance anu tiansmission
spectia in the six ueuicateu uisplay panels of the u0I. The automateu moue piocesses all gioups
in one opeiation anu uisplays all coiiecteu ieflectance anu tiansmission spectia; no iaw spectia
aie uisplayeu in that case.
These coiiecteu spectia aie then augmenteu with metauata anu inseiteu into the BB, essentially
copying the metauata of the input spectia anu changing them to ieflect the piocesseu state, i.e.
setting the coiiect measuiement type of eithei ieflectance oi tiansmittance.
Implementing such a tool can be accomplisheu in a mattei of houis by basing on SPECCBI0 API's,
iesulting in most of the uevelopment effoit being conceineu with uata hanuling anu u0I
iepiesentations within Natlab.

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As outlineu, the uevelopment of a national spectial uatabase system foi the Austialian iemote
sensing community, aims to stanuaiuize spectial stoiage paiameteis anu metauata, thus
piomoting best piactice piotocols. By enlisting the input of iemote sensing stakeholueis acioss
wiue-ianging uisciplines, it is anticipateu that the system uevelopeu will pioviue tools that
ieseaichei's neeu anu uesiie, thus enhancing cuiient woikflows anu facilitating collaboiative
Funueu by ANBS, the pioject aligns with ANBS objectives by cieating uesciiptions of the spectial
libiaiies anu shaiing those uesciiptions in ARBC. 0nce uevelopeu, theie will be an automatic
feeu fiom the system to ARBC. Bata fiom the libiaiies will also be available foi ieuse by othei
The softwaie ueliveiables will be of use to othei ieseaich gioups who also have spectial
uatabases anu its availability will ensuie any futuie libiaiies aie built on spec baseu on piotocols
anu metauata iequiiements, thus, facilitating use anu giowth of the system. Since libiaiies can be
built at multiple scales anu levels, the potential use of this uevelopment offeis high value ietuin
on investment, baseu on a common neeu acioss the entiie iemote sensing community.
In auuition, the system will enable ieliable tiansfei of expeiimental uata foi calibiation anu
ieseaich anu piomote shaiing amongst collaboiatois anu othei ieseaicheis via ARBC.


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