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How We Rescue Data

Planning a project

IEDRO volunteers meet by phone, via email, or in person with the “owners” of the data to be rescued. All parties sign an agreement to allow the rescued and digitized environment data to be freely available through an open and unrestricted database and a tentative implementation schedule is set.

Setting up a site

The IEDRO volunteer assists the country’s national meteorological service in readying the data rescue facility, then purchases and installs computer and camera equipment and trains the data rescue personnel.

Capturing the weather data

Once all of the old weather observations are sorted by station location and date, each sheet of observations is oriented on a stand so that the entire page of weather data is visible to the camera. As soon as the image is in perfect focus, the photograph is taken and stored in the camera’s memory. When the camera’s memory is full, the images are downloaded into the computer and saved to portable storage media.

Digitizing data

After capturing the weather data, the images are digitized using the strip chart digitizer program, dual keying stations or another method chosen for delivering the best results in the shortest period of time within the project budget.

Where the data goes

IEDRO first obtains the photographic or scanned images of the original environmental data (i.e. alphanumeric weather observations, graphs, photographs, etc.), which are a direct result of IEDRO-planned and executed data rescue projects in developing countries. These images are usually provided on CDs or DVDs.

IEDRO logs the images received and sends a complete copy of the rescued data to the nearest environmental World Data Center – NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, North Carolina.

IEDRO-funded data rescue projects have one requirement – digitized data that has been rescued is to be provided to the world community, primarily through a World Data Center, either at no charge or for a nominal charge of reproduction.