Data collections can be seen on:!/q=greenhouse%20gas%20emissions/p=1/tab=All/group=Queensland%20University%20of%20Technology

Software is available at:

Software categories:

Sensor Networks

Integration metadata from various systems which are internal to an institution

Project Members:

Danqing Zhang (Project Manager, )

Dr. Joseph Young (Project Manager,

Lance De Vine (Lead Developer,

Colin Fraser (Developer,

Allan James (Developer,

Professor Peter Grace (Research Officer, )

Stephanie Bradbury (Data Librarian,

Craig Milne (Data Librarian,

ANDS Contact:

Andrew White (

Project Status:


Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Australian Soils

Queensland University of Technology

Project Description:

The N2O Project aimed to re-engineer an existing client application called Morpho used in the ecological research domain. The Morpho software is used by researchers as part of work associated with the national N2O Network research program. Soil emissions data is automatically collected at various sites around Australia using automated gas sampling systems.
Researchers manually collect this data, augment it with further metadata, and bundle the data as "data packages" using Morpho.

Morpho has been developed since about the year 2000. It offers many features for accessing and manipulating metadata and data. Morpho is also known to suffer from a number of problems including lack of an integrated design architecture, poorly structured source code, lack of extensibility and maintainability, and lack of support for different data formats, most likely because of the incremental nature of its development.

A Java-based data management application called MetaMaster was developed to overcome these problems. MetaMaster facilitates the management of Scientific Data Packages within the ecological research space and assists with the creation of metadata records that conform to the RDA metadata standard (RIF-CS). These are ingested into the QUT Metadata Hub which has an OAI-PMH handler that allows ANDS to harvest the N2O metadata records and publish them to Research Data Australia (RDA).

MetaMaster provides many benefits, some of which are -
(a) a well structure development methodology,
(b) a modular and extensible architecture using Eclipse Rich Client Platform,
(c) integrated packaging, deployment and update capabilities, and
(d) the support of an extensive developer community surrounding the Eclipse platform.

It was not expected that all features of Morpho would be implemented within the time-frame of the project; however MetaMaster offers the major features for researchers to define, manage and manipulate metadata associated with a collection of data files or packages. It provides a solid basis on which further features may be added using the Eclipse plug-in infrastructure.

MetaMaster was developed for the ecological domain with the consideration that it can be extensible to other domains. It has the potential to become a complete replacement of Morpho, after some further developments, so that it could be a data management tool that is not only for ecologists but also for scientists in other domains.

The N2O Data Capture Project has helped the
Research Group and the project team with:
a) development of greater knowledge regarding the requirements of ecological data management;
b) greater knowledge of EML(Ecological Metadata Language) which is used for managing ecological data;
c) better understanding of the importance and technical challenges of maintaining unique identifiers and also managing user permissions;
d) better understanding of the difficulties associated with building flexible and extensible software for ecological metadata management.
e) greater expertise with the eXist XML database software which is of potential use in any XML metadata management application.

This knowledge is valuable and will help the Research Group manage their ecological data more effectively in the future.

In addition, the N2O and the other two data capture projects provided QUT with an opportunity to establish a system architecture and suitable workflows for publishing research data information to Research Data Australia. The system architecture and workflows are now existing components of infrastructure that other research groups can use in the future, and therefore support the broader development of research data management and the publishing of QUT research data.