OBIS: getting started

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System access and data overview

OBIS can be found under Opening it in your favourite web browser you are greeted with the following screen:

OBIS frontpage

Two menus (marked in red) offer access to various generic functions (top menu) and data types (left menu). Via the top menu, the following OBIS functions can be accessed:

  • Search: allows to globally search over all data types
  • Reporting: shows lists of recently changed datasets
  • Account: allows to change user specific information (e.g. password or language)
  • Admin: global admministration functions (e.g. user / permission management, system log files)
  • Login/-out

The left menu provides access to OBIS data about:

  • Persons and organisations: persons and organizations referred to in metadata of various other data types
  • Study sites: descriptions of locations (i.e. points or areas) at which (field) research is located
  • Observations: general field observations done at study sites, used for information not covered by other data types
  • Vegetation: vegetation observations, can be linked to study sites
  • Soil: soil observations, can be linked to study sites
  • Rivers: rivers and their tributaries
  • Stations: measurement stations, their location and type (e.g. climate station, streamflow gauge, ...)
  • Time series data: time series of measured and simulated data, together with information about their stored parameters, source, and data gaps
  • Geodata: geospatial data, including descriptions of map projection , data type, and other metadata (in accordance with the ISO 19115 standard)
  • Scenarios: general purpose future development scenarios (e.g. related to climate or land use change)
  • Indicators: environmental indicators and their values suited to evaluate scenarios applied to study sites
  • Documents
  • Glossary

User account

As a default, users are logged in automatically as a guest user. In OBIS, the guest user account already allows access to a variety of functions, including

  • searching for / displaying meta-information about most stored data
  • visualizing interactive maps and previews of geospatial data
  • displaying previews of time series graphs and images

The guest user is not allowed to access and download detailed information such as time series or geodata. The same holds for accessing restricted and account specific functions like language settings (the guest user account uses English). For an individual dataset, specific permissions may have been defined by the dataset owner and as such might differ from the default settings.

Throughout this tutorial, a user account with typical permission settings is used. To login with your account, select the Login/-out link from the top menu. Please fill your user credentials into the form as shown in the image below:

OBIS login form

If you don't have an account yet, please select the Request new user account link from the same page and provide the required information in the following form as shown here:

User registration form

Please carefully fill in the information about Affiliation and Request notice as the permissions granted by the OBIS administrator will be based on and justified by these data. Upon submitting the data, an OBIS administrator is notified about your request. You may be contacted by the administrator to confirm or expand upon the information you submitted. Your account will usually be created within one day and your user credentials will be sent to you via an automated email.

Once you have successfully logged in, your currently used user account is displayed below the main menu, e.g. Logged in as: skralisch. In case you are experiencing problems accessing data, please remember to check if the user account shown here is the one you intend to use. To change your user account settings like password, email address, or preferred language, select the Account link from the top menu.

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