NAUPLIUS and the NAUPLIUS Explorer
There are a variety and wealth of data sets and data products available for marine ecosystems research.
Unfortunately, the challenge in using these data is that they come in a variety of data formats, gridding-resolutions, and time intervals.
A researcher can spend a lot of time and effort preparing these data ... only to realize (much too late) that the data were not exactly well-suited for their research.
One may find that a "global" data product may not work with smaller regional scales very well (see upper left panel in figure to right).
Looking even briefly at the figures to the right, one can see:
What all of these figures also do not show is how much time (human and computer) was required to download, process, subset, standardize, and plot these four simple figures.
NAUPLIUS was originally developed by COPEPOD as an "in-house" tool to support its data-capability needs as it collaborated with other NOAA and international ecosystem working groups.
NAUPLIUS Explorer was created from the compilation of these various sub-elements, creating a tool to help the marine ecosystems researchers as well as students or teachers looking for ways to visualize oceanographic data and processes.
- Choice of Spatial Resolution: Larger grid-size data are less suited for studying smaller geographic regions. Some global products even remove the layer of grid cells of nearest to the coastline or bottom to reduce boundary/gradient effects.
- Smoothing or Removal of Hydrographic Features: The gridding resolution, analytical smoothing (found in the original data or applied after), and the general presentation style all determine what hydrographic features are shown or not shown. The smoothing in the bottom two figures reduces (or completely eliminates) the natural feature seen in the Wilkinson Basin (Gulf of Maine, northeast off of Cape Cod) seen in the upper right "raw means" figure.
The NAUPLIUS Explorer lets a user quickly and easily:
- compare data from different data sets and data products on a common color-scale and map,
- compare different variables (temperature, nutrients, biology) on a common map,
- compare data at variety of different gridding resolutions,
- get a clear idea of the data's usability (and its limitations) BEFORE they download and process it,
- download data at a variety of compilation levels and formats, selecting what best fits their software or needs.
NAUPLIUS went live in October of 2014.