D-Lib Magazine

THETIS: Design of a data management and data visualization system for coastal zone management of the Mediterranean sea1


The THETIS system is viewed as a digital library of data repositories and visualization tools. In addition to its index/search capacity, the digital library also provides data querying, data combining, and data visualization capabilities. This paper presents an overview of the design of THETIS, a system that addresses the frequent requirement of scientists, engineers and decision-makers to access, process and subsequently visualize data collected and stored in different formats and held at different locations. The need exists for tools that enable the integration of these data, together with their associated data models, data interpretation techniques, and visualization requirements. The objective is to build an advanced integrated interoperable system for transparent access and visualization of such data repositories, via the Internet and the WWW. Vast amounts of information exist, collected and processed over many years at different research institutions. The data collections are stored in various databases, files, spreadsheets, or are generated by sophisticated data simulation models of physical and biological processes, and by data processing techniques. Data collections comprise numeric, audio, and video data, data models, images, and text. Data models are implemented in program code, which usually needs visualization tools to represent results. The integration and visualization of data repositories into an easily accessed interoperable networked environment is needed in many disciplines for both scientific and management purposes. One application area where data integration and visualization is particularly needed is Coastal Zone Management (CZM). The proposed system focuses on supporting CZM for the Mediterranean Region of Europe.