A recipe for standards-based data sharing using open source software and low-cost electronics

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Courtesy of IWA Publishing

Environmental data are critical to understanding environmental phenomena, yet their consistent collection and curation can be cost-prohibitive. This paper describes a recipe for the design, development, and deployment of a low-cost environmental data logging and transmission system for environmental sensors and its connection to an open source data-sharing network. The hardware is built using several low-cost, open-source, mass-produced components. The system automatically ingests data into HydroServer, a standards-based server in the open source hydrologic information system (HIS) created by the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences Inc. (CUAHSI). By publishing data in this way, they are discoverable through the geographic information system (GIS)-based CUAHSI tools, HydroDesktop and HydroShare. In addition, because they follow WaterML encoding, open hardware data stored in the HIS can be included in international catalog such as the global earth observation system of system catalog. A recipe for building the system is provided. Multiple deployments used to test proof-of-concept of the system are described and their results are given. Ease of deployment and reliability of the logging and transmission system is also addressed.

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