Project promotion materials:



Manual Entry Forms (usually web-based metadata entry interfaces)

Integration metadata from various systems which are internal to an institution

Project Members:

Dietmar Muller (

Neal Anderson (

ANDS Contact:

Alan Glixman (

Project Status:


The University of Sydney Major Open Data Collection: EarthByte

The University of Sydney

Project Description

The EarthByte Group, in the School of Geosciences at the University of Sydney is one of the world’s leading research groups for global and regional plate tectonic reconstructions and for studying the interplay between the deep earth and surface processes. Research is conducted in topics as diverse as basin evolution, geodynamic controls on ore deposit formation, continental deformation, formation of Australian opal, causes of long-term sea-level change and Phanerozoic plate tectonic reconstructions. The EarthByte Group leads the development of open-source plate reconstruction software, GPlates ( GPlates enables the interactive manipulation of plate-tectonic reconstructions and the visualization of geodata through geological time, and it facilitates interoperability of plate tectonic data and models with geodynamic computing services for applied and fundamental research purposes.

The EarthByte data collection is internationally recognised for its advanced geodata synthesis through space and time, reflecting a wealth of geological and geophysical big data for gradually building a 4D Earth model. Since June 2010 alone EarthByte’s data pages have been accessed over 27,000 times from users in over 130 countries (see

The ANDS MODC EarthByte project will focus resources on ensuring that EarthByte data collections are supported by a robust data management regime to enhance the sustainability, discoverability and re-use of these significant data collections.

Data Type:

Geophysical - Plate Tectonics

High Level Software Functionality:

The project will perform a major transformation of existing EarthByte data collections, attach rich metadata and transform files into sustainable and accessible file formats. Use of the GML (Geography Mark-up Language) will ensure interoperability and enhanced re-use amongst the user community.

EarthByte data collections are currently made openly available using a creative commons license. Part of project work would ensure consistent licensing as part of systems/processes developed.

It is intended that the project will deliver mechanisms to publish metadata records from the EarthByte data portal to the Sydney Research Data Registry and from there to Research Data Australia. Publication of metadata records to other major discipline specific registries, such as the National Geophysical Data Centre (NGDC) and the NASA geosciences data portal, will be explored as a means to enhance discoverability and re-use.

The project will also enable EarthByte data collections to be cited by using DOIs minted from the Sydney Research Data Registry