Spectroscopy allows indirect measurement of vegetation physical and chemical properties, assessment of plant functional types and biodiversity, and quantification of biosphere-atmosphere gas and energy exchange. While extensive spectral libraries exist, diverse collection procedures, storage formats, and limited metadata have prevented or complicated their use in comparative studies, meta-analyses, and global-scale ecosystem models. We are developing the Ecological Spectral Information System (EcoSIS) as a framework to bring together pre-existing spectral libraries, build new datasets and enable more effective and wider use of spectral data.
- Augment and expand current datasets through community-provided spectral data and allow identification of critical gaps in current spectroscopic holdings and applications;
- Establish spectral data collection standards and best practices in concert with the international community and NEON;
- Establish metadata standards and best practices consistent with ISO 19115 and other standards accepted by the remote sensing, ecology, modeling and climate change communities;
- Develop queryable spectral databases to hold collected spectral datasets, available via the web, and openly accessible to the community at-large;
- Develop linked databases of associated vegetation properties, used to interpret spectra and to scale biological, chemical and physical measurements;
- Create accessible, open-source tools from existing source-code for users to visualize and analyze spectral data and ancillary measurements including implementation of application programming interfaces (APIs), with rigorous QAQC and error reporting; and
- Evaluate approaches for data inter-comparison.
The ultimate objectives of EcoSIS are to facilitate question-based ecological and remote sensing research, and to provide the foundation for long-term, community-driven collaboration. EcoSIS is designed to meet key NASA objectives by archiving, curating, and enabling effective access to data obtained through NASA funded activities (e.g. in support of AVIRIS and HyspIRI activities) and contribute to broader efforts such as NEON. We see EcoSIS as having a critical linkage to other efforts such as SpecNet, the TRY Plant Trait Database, and Specchio.