Metadata Management

Metadata database.

Keeping track of hundreds of projects and deployments isn’t an easy task and data that aren’t properly archived and accessible aren’t useful. To accomplish this we manage our metadata with a FileMaker relational database called “BRP Projects and Archives” developed in-house. We are using this database to track each and every deployment we have ever conducted. Specific information we are tracking include:

  • General project info (sponsor information, etc.).
  • Deployment information (as shown in a typical deployment record in the picture).
  • Locations and contents of archival data on hard drives, servers, and digital tape.
  • Equipment such as computers and recording gear.

As of May 2017, there are 372 project entries in the database. Some projects have multiple deployments associated with them, while others are software development or data re-analysis efforts, so have no associated deployments. In total, there are 328 deployments to date that involved 2,032 individual recording units (terrestrial and marine). Each deployment record shows the details for each recorder and allows us to map recording sites interactively on a Google map embedded in the database.

The database also holds 2,800 records of data archival objects (like hard drives) and approximately 1,200 equipment items. The database is hosted on a Windows VM (virtual machine) on a server at Cornell, running FileMaker Server managed by BRP. Staff members on Windows, Macs, iPad, or any web browser can all access the data.