The Laboratory of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology, part of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), is developing a data platform for all partners to store their data. With this cloud-based ecosystem, data from the project becomes searchable and accessible to all project partners and other stakeholders. We spoke with Petros Kofakis, assistant professor at the Agricultural University of Athens and researcher on the UPWATER project, about this milestone we’ve achieved.
Data management plan
‘To be able to collect, manage and store all data in a convenient and safe way, we elaborated an initial Data Management Plan (DMP) as a first step, at the beginning of the project,’ Kofakis explains. ‘This plan describes the data management life cycle for the data to be collected, processed and/or generated by the UPWATER project. As part of making research data findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable (FAIR). Outlining how data are to be handled both during the research project, and after the project is completed, the DMP serves as a basis for the development of our Cloud Ecosystem.’
The Cloud Ecosystem
‘The current version of the Cloud Ecosystem supports two functionalities,’ Kofakis explains. ‘Firstly, it provides access to the GeoNetwork cataloging server that catalogs datasets that are used by or are the result of the project. For example, datasets on the groundwater monitoring network in the Athens case study site or background data on isotopes in the Barcelona case study site.
We use GeoNetwork as an Open Source Software tool, because it is a widely used tool that provides open access and is easy to work with. The full research data lifecycle contains newly generated and re-used data. From on-site measurements and analyses, laboratory analyses and statistical analysis to data from literature research and stakeholder participation.
Besides this, the Cloud Ecosystem provides access to the data collected by the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors that constantly provide information which is automatically stored in the Cloud Ecosystem database. In other words, on this data platform, you will have access to up to date monitoring information. Of course, this is work in progress; right now we are collecting data and developing the models.’
Data sharing with other projects
‘Data and knowledge generated by UPWATER could be useful to other research projects involved in (ground)water too,’ says Kofakis, who is also a member of the Data Management and Sharing Working Group of the ZeroPollution4Water Cluster. ‘Being part of this working group is a good experience,’ he says. ‘We learn from each other and it really shows us what is important. For example: making the Cloud Ecosystem as simple as possible, so it is useful for more projects and stakeholders.’
The Data Management and Sharing Working Group of the ZeroPollution4Water Cluster focuses on identifying and discussing existing frameworks for drinking and groundwater-related data management and sharing among the projects in the cluster. With the aim to identify common data needs and standards, to analyse data sharing protocols, as well as data quality and security.
The future of our data
‘The data we generate, collect and store on our data platform will also comply with the EU Open Access Mandate. All scientific publications, including public parts of underlying datasets will also be uploaded in Zenodo. Zenodo is a “catch-all” open research data repository for at least the next 25 years, thus the data will remain ‘FAIR’. Useful for our current sister projects, but also for future water-related projects.’
Do you wish to look around on our data platform? Visit https://upwater.gr/.