Data standards


TERRA’s data standards facilitate the exchange of genomic and phenomic data across teams and external researchers. Applying common standards makes it easier to exchange analytical methods and data across domains and to leverage existing tools.

When practical, existing conventions and standards have been used to create data standards. Spatial data adopts Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) and Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) data and meta-data standards. CF variable naming convention was adopted for meteorological data and biophysical data. Data formats and variable naming conventions were adapted from NEON and NASA.

Feedback from data creators and users were used to define the types of data formats, semantics, and interfaces, file formats, and representations of space, time, and genetic identity based on existing standards, commonly used file formats, and user needs.

We anticipate that standards and data formats will evolve over time as we clarify use cases, develop new sensors and analytical pipelines, and build tools for data format conversion and feature extraction and tracking provenance. Each year we will re-convene to assess our standards based on user needs. The Standards Committee will assess the trade-off between the upfront cost of adoption with the long-term value of the data products, algorithms, and tools that will be developed as part of the TERRA program. The specifications for these data products will be developed iteratively over the course of the project in coordination with TERRA funded projects. The focus will be to take advantage of existing tools based on these standards, and to develop data translation interfaces where necessary.

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