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Technologies Used for Customized Dynamic Web Access to a Unique Collection of Arctic Change Time Series. Willa H. Zhu James E. Overland JISAO/UW - PMEL/NOAA. American Meteorological Society / IIPS January 13-17, 2002, Orlando, FL. The Unaami Data Collection

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Willa H. Zhu James E. Overland JISAO/UW - PMEL/NOAA

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Technologies Used for Customized Dynamic Web Access to a Unique Collection of Arctic Change Time Series

Willa H. Zhu

James E. Overland


American Meteorological Society / IIPS January 13-17, 2002, Orlando, FL

  • The Unaami Data Collection

    • consists of over 80 carefully selected time series

      • unique, interdisciplinary, and diverse

      • spanning a wide geographic range

      • from 1970 to the present

    • quantifies Arctic changes


  • The Arctic

    • Is one of the least explored, studied and understood places on earth

  • The inter-agency SEARCH science plan

    • identifies the complex suite of interrelated pan-Arctic changes

    • gives them the name “Unaami” (Yup’ik word for “tomorrow”)

The Unaami Web Site

  • Provides information and access to this unique collection of Arctic Time Series

    • highly interactive

    • many functions for viewing and plotting data and metadata

  • The Unaami data collection web access system is described in AMS IIPS paper 4.11

Web Technologies

  • Back-end software

    • Utilities for web update

    • EPIC analyses programs

    • PPLUS plotting tools

  • MySQL Database

    • Store metadata

  • Java Applets/JavaScript

    • Provide highly user interactive front-end data selection features

  • Dynamic HTML

    • JavaScript

    • CGI (Perl, C)

    • Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

Backend Data Management

  • Data

    • Converted into netCDF files

    • categorized by data type (e.g. biology, ocean, fisheries, etc.)

  • Metadata

    • stored in MySQL database

    • managed using EPIC software ( structure, data loading, data selecting, etc.)

  • Update utilities

    • Facilitate addition/removal of time series dataset

    • Pre-generate web page components

      • Polar stereographic map showing station locations

      • Station location and data type color key information

      • JavaScript containing metadata

1. Select Data (and view quick info, make quick plot)

2. Refine selection / Data access options

3. Results

Overview of functionality

Data access procedure:

Data Selection and Browse

  • Show quick info

  • Make quick plot

  • Select data for further plotting, listing and downloading

  • Java Applets

    • Selectable map (select region or single station)

    • Interact with JavaScript

    • Convert coordinate system between polar and cartesian

    • Initiate CGI for quick info and quick plot

Java Applet

  • JavaScript

    • Load data information

    • Generate “data type” list dynamically

    • Interact with Java Applets

    • Select data by type (different color represent different type)

    • Retain user’s selection by using Cookies


Java Applets/JavaScript for Data Selection

Data Access

Refine Selection

Refine Selection / Data Access Use JavaScript

  • Get user’s selection from Cookie

  • Display the metadata and time range dynamically

  • Select/Deselect by

    • data type

    • region

  • Sort the data by

    • data type

    • region

    • start year

    • longitude

    • Latitude

  • Refine selection (retain/delete)

Data Access

  • Make Stacked Time Series Plot

  • Make Single Time Series Plot

  • Make Correlation Matrix

  • View Data Information

  • Display Data in ASCII format

  • Download netCDF data files


Stacked Time Series Plot

  • CGI (Perl)

    • Initiate EPIC program and PPLUS script to generate plots and GIF files

    • Generate PostScript files

    • Generate HTML

  • JavaScript

    • Dynamically generate HTML code

    • Control user’s selection on GIF and download Postscripts files


Correlation matrix

  • CGI (C and Perl)

    • Calculate correlation coefficient

    • Generate HTML


Data Access

  • CGI (C and Perl)

    • List data (access netCDF)

    • List metadata (access the database)

    • Great TAR file of netCDF files for downloading

    • Generate HTML


  • The Unaami time series data are representative of changes in the Arctic region since 1970. 

  • Unaami data collection access system

    • integrates several modern web technologies for easy, interactive access to this unique collection of time series.

    • provides a useful tool for studying and understanding recent atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial changes in the Arctic.

Future Plan

  • Data analyses will be included as they are completed.

  • The Unaami Data Collection will be expanded to include new time series as they are discovered.

If you know of any time series that represents any aspect of Arctic change, please contact us:

Dr. James E. Overland

NOAA/Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory

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