Khaos Research Group, ITIS Software, University of Malága, Spain
Faculty of Agriculture, University of East Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina
The foreseen pan-European data warehouse will be complex and offer multiple functionalities. The “easy” collection of data, operation of query and data-aggregation routines as well as use of assessment tools requires user-friendly and intuitive interfaces despite data-warehouse complexity. This will determine the database’s success, is key to its adoption and broad use and is therefore of vital importance. The main goal of WG4 is the development of user-friendly and intuitive user interfaces (GUIs) and represents cross-cutting activities to, i.e., WG2, WG3 and WG6. WG4 will ensure that user-friendly interfaces enable combinations of data across taxonomic and functional groups over spatial scales to be easily accessed and evaluated.
All GUIs of the existing software platform will be assessed and necessary improvements and additions recommended. WG4 will evaluate the data-import software (WG2) and offer recommendations for improvement of its user interface, also considering the suggestions of WG2 for improvements and development of this tool. To ensure that users and stakeholders can easily access information needed for scientific questions, management of soil resources and policy decisions (WG5), WG4 will assess the existing interfaces for queries (filters) and compilation (incl. download) of available data, as well as data-analysis modules. Simulations of improved GUIs (”Mock-ups”) will be drafted.
WG4 will be responsible for regular consultations with all potential users to improve interface quality and easiness of use. WG4 will work closely with the software developers employed by the Action participants to guarantee coherence between interface construction and underlying data-manipulation and -analysis routines. In all GUIs, emphasis will be placed on intuitive use, striving to integrate different understandings and mentalities of Action participants. Training courses will assist in the usage of the data warehouse and its tools, providing important input for improving the GUIs.
(1) A catalogue of recommendations and sample solutions for changes in existing software-user interfaces as well as new interfaces developed. (2) Mock-ups of potential GUIs with explanations of how biologically or policy oriented users view and approach these interfaces will be prepared. (3) Ontologies for Edaphobase’s vocabularies and data fields will be developed, allowing better networking linkages with other databases and software tools.