A current challenge is that up-to-date information to support research and government policy is often buried in documents or reports (in PDF or printed hard copy), which makes it expensive to locate, quick to become out of date and inefficient to produce. Online data services are increasingly making environmental data accessible but they are not easily discoverable, neither are they comprehensive, and few people know how to use the data. Data providers are often disconnected from their users and lack the ability to capture and attribute value to their data to justify the business case for making it more discoverable, accessible, and user friendly. The problem is limiting our ability to achieve positive societal, environmental and economic outcomes in Australia.
We have developed an online platform called Knowledge Network to aid these challenges of data discovery and access.
The CSIRO Environmental Informatics group is working with Data61 to develop a new smart data platform called Knowledge Network, to help people find and share data. Anyone can use it to easily and quickly find high quality information. Data providers can use it to improve discovery of their data, and report on how the community is using their data.
Knowledge Network indexes multiple data repositories and offers search and discovery tools so that people can discover, access and share data links all from one convenient site. It is a window to digital data collections, geospatial reference data, and organisational information. It currently indexes open data from government sources (e.g. data.gov.au) and research data available in Australia, such as the data facilities of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy.
Knowledge Network is being used as a key discovery component of the upcoming ECOcloud platform, an ecoscience research data cloud and virtual laboratory, which aims to provide access to high quality ecological and biodiversity data and tools to adequately measure the state of the environment.
Knowledge Network: https://knowledgenet.co