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D a t a R e s c u e . . . B e f o re i t ’s t o o l a t e !

International Data Rescue News The first publication devoted entirely to environmental data rescue Volume 1 Issue 4

IEDRO is growing!

October/November 2005

The International Environmental Data Rescue Organization Ltd. (IEDRO) has just named its fifth member of our Board of Directors. (see page three for Board details).

What’s Hot?

IEDRO (Booth 146) 86th AMS Annual Meeting

Inside this issue: Senegal Data Rescue

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back in operation IEDRO’s New Board of

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Directors Process simplified

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How are the Data Res-

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cue Sites doing? News from the field

Why does digitization take so long?

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Ms. Janet Sansone, formerly with the General Electric Corporation has joined IEDRO’s Board of Directors. Ms. Sansone brings with her many years of corporate management experience. She is a member of several Boards of Directors of both commercial and non-profit organizations.

The IEDRO Board Chair Richard Crouthamel - USA Directors Annie Hareau –Uruguay Douglas Klotter –USA Wilma Lutsch –South Africa Janet Sansone—USA

IEDRO fund raising? Now that IEDRO has attained its non-profit status, an important focus of the organization is raising the funds needed to carry on data rescue and digitization work. In addition to applying to charitable foundations for grants, we are establishing a mechanism on our website to make it easy for caring individuals to make personal contributions. (see details next issue)

Please note: Beginning in 2006, the IDRN will be published quarterly, beginning with the March 2006 issue.

International Environmental Data Rescue Organization Is the only non-profit organization whose focus is locating, rescuing and digitizing historic environmental data throughout the world. We depend on grants from charitable organizations and foundations as well as individuals to carry on our work. Check out: http://IEDRO.ORG


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Senegal operating again ... Senegal was the next stop for Mr. Martin Munkhondya, of Malawi as he continued his travels across Africa, working with the national meteorological services in getting the data rescue activities moving again with replacement cameras, supplies and enthusiasm. The Director of the Senegalese Meteorological Service provided Martin with a hearty welcome with the entire data rescue staff. The Senegal National Meteorological Service is leading the Africa data rescue activities with over 70,000 images taken of their historic upper-air observations. We continue to look forward to working with this excellent data rescue team.

Mr. Munkhondya with the Director Mr. M. Mactar Ndiaye.in white and Mr Cherif DIOP (Meteorologist)

The Senegal Data Rescue Team Djibil Masaly, Mrs. Tall Dan Barakhissa Cissokho, Mrs. Counta Arama Konate, Hamady Lamine DIA, Mustapha DIOP, Babacar SECK, Yaye MBo Samba, Ibrahima Diallo, SANA NDIR, Malang DIATTA.


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IEDRO Board of Directors Dr. Richard Crouthamel, D.Sc., Chair Background: Manager – International Projects and Programs – NOAA/NWS International Activities Office for 15 years before retirement February 2004. Responsible for the design, planning, funding and execution of international projects and programs within the US National Weather Service. These programs involve hydrometeorological data rescue, training and education, disaster vulnerability assessment and mitigation in developing countries. Education: D.Sc. Environmental Management 1996, George Washington University M.S. Engineering Management 1976, University of Alaska B.S. Meteorology 1968, Pennsylvania State University Languages: English E-mail: mgmtdctr@aol.com Residence: Deale, Maryland, USA

Lic. Annie Hareau, Director Background: Environmental Consultant since 1999, working on environmental data rescue, environmental and social impact assessment, coastal management, eco-tourism, and international forest management and chain of custody certification (including system implementation, auditing and training activities). Previously involved in government positions (e.g. National Director of Environment of Uruguay 1993-1994) and in the design, management and execution of national and international projects and programs in the environmental, social and climate change fields. Education: Lic. Oceanography 1993 Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay Lic. Biological Sciences 1993 Universidad de la República, Montevideo, Uruguay Languages: Spanish, English, French, and working knowledge of Portuguese and Italian. E-mail: ahareau@yahoo.com Residence: Montevideo, Uruguay

(To be continued next issue)

D a t a R e s c u e … B e f o re i t ’s t o o l a t e !


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The Data Rescue Process‌ simplified For those not intimately involved in the data rescue process, a few photos will help illustrate the tremendous work in which the data rescue teams are involved.

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1. In many countries, data are not even organized but confined to cardboard boxes in back rooms, forgotten. When the space is needed for other activities, the data are most often discarded.

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2. Data Rescue teams organize these data by observation site and then place the data in chronological order in preparation for digital photography.

2 3. Each sheet containing weather observations is carefully oriented on the camera stand so that all the data as well as the station name and location and any other data will be visible to the camera.


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4. The camera is focused and the digital photograph taken. One the camera memory is full, the images are downloaded into the computer. A CD-ROM is made for the office where the data originated. A second CD-ROM is made and sent to the organization responsible for digitizing the observations.

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5. Through a series of steps, the data are displayed on a computer screen and a data entry expert keys the data residing on the digital photograph into the computer. The data are stored as CDF (comma delimited format) illustrated below. CDMP28KE,KE0028,0002.jpg,63671,01,07,1985,1,11,1,1,0,170, 15,166, 13,169, 19,169, 28,169, 10,175, 15,178, 15,183, 21,185, 30,190, 28,191, 30,189, 26,184, 31,175, 27,180, 23,180, 14,180, 13,169, 17,167, 16,180, 02, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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CDMP28KE,KE0028,0003.jpg,63671,01,08,1985,1,11,1,1,0,180, 10,158, 15,167, 35,162, 44,176, 30,207, 07,246, 07,162, 06,190, 14,172, 11, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Station: Embu, Kenya #63720

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o

o

00 30’S 37 27’E elev. 1493 ft

01/02/1979 0500Z

PIBAL Data HEIGHT

DIR

FEET

DEG

SPD

KTS 000

0.0

0.0

500

111

1.7

1000

43

3.4

1500

45

3.7

2000

43

7.4

2500

42

9.2

3000

36

11.9

6. Once the data are stored as a CDF, they can be displayed in an infinite variety of ways such as the table to the left. Additionally, since the data are stored as digital files, computer programs of all types can use those data as input producing an infinite variety of useful information heretofore unavailable to the researchers or operational meteorologists, climatologists and engineers. This process from locating the data in need of rescue to the final digitization of those data can take two to three years to occur (see FAQ page 8). However, IEDRO is working with data rescue teams and data keying personnel to shorten the time required.


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How are the Data Rescue sites doing? Number of New images received by country, since the last newsletter

Total Number of images received by country, as of the publishing of this newsletter


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News from the field KENYA No news reported. MALAWI Martin Munkhondya, Data Rescue Team Leader visited Senegal to install replacement cameras and to assist in getting the data rescue effort operational again (see page 2). The Malawi data rescue team has begun to photograph surface observations. MOZAMBIQUE Replacement cameras have been sent to Mozambique and will be installed by Martin Munkhondya January 2006 with the concurrence of the Mozambique National Meteorological Service. NIGER Replacement cameras have been sent to Niger and will be installed by Martin Munkhondya during January 2006 with the concurrence of the Niger National Meteorological Service. SENEGAL Replacement cameras have been installed and NCDC is awaiting additional CDs from the data rescue team. ZAMBIA An additional 2854 images arrived from Zambia at NCDC. We are told that Zambia will soon complete the imaging of its upper-air observations. That is indeed wonderful news Zambia! DOMINICAN REPUBLIC No activity for several months. Letter of inquiry sent to the new Director of the Dominican Republic National Meteorological Service offering to assist. NICARAGUA Project on hold while software continues to be developed for the digitization of strip charts. Recent tests showed very good results digitizing thermographs. The software developer will be expanding the program to digitize precipitation and other charts. URUGUAY (DNM) Lic. Raul Michelini, Director of the National Meteorological Service (DNM) provided his data rescue expert Graciela Troyano to accompany Lic. Annie Hareau, IEDRO’s South American Program Manager to Punta Arenas, Chile beginning a new data rescue project (see next issue) URUGUAY (SOHMA) Several CDs containing another 1000 surface observations have been received by the National Climatic Data Center. IEDRO greatly appreciates the continuing work and enthusiasm of the SOHMA data rescue personnel.

Digitization Progress Malawi One half of all the Malawi Upper-air data has now been keyed. Senegal Upper-air data being keyed Kenya Upper-air data being keyed Mozambique Keying format being built

IDRN is published quarterly free to subscribers by: The International Environmental Data Rescue Organization, Ltd. (IEDRO) , a non-profit organization

No government funds are used.

D a t a R e s c u e … B e f o re i t ’s t o o l a t e !


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D a t a R e s c u e … B e f o re i t ’s t o o l a t e ! Please submit articles for the IDRN to the address below.

International Environmental Data Rescue Organization, Ltd. 901 Main Street, Deale, Maryland 20751 U.S.A. Phone: 410-867-1124; E-mail:

Fax: 410-867-9259

ADMIN@IEDRO.ORG

Web site: IEDRO.ORG

Frequently Asked Questions THIS QUESTION CONTINUES TO BE ASKED BY DATA RESCUE TEAMS...here’s some additional information…Why does it take so long for rescued data to be digitized and returned to the country of origin? Keying data into a digital data base is extremely labor intensive. Each parameter value must be entered by someone sitting at a keyboard. The average country’s meteorological observations represent tens of millions of individual keystrokes each of which must be checked for accuracy. This means that all data must be keyed twice and then compared before being added to the data base. The budget of the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) cannot afford the millions of dollars worth of keying required for digitizing its own data or for foreign data. However, a U.S. government program that provides U.S. citizens jobs in areas of high unemployment has funded a few private companies to teach people to key data from values on paper. These companies are responsible for digitizing the CD images of the observations by keying the data and placing it into a data base. However, they also are responsible for keying other data such as government health records, employment information, university admissions information, tax information and other paper-based data from many other government and private organizations. Unfortunately, NCDC has little control over the scheduling of the keying of meteorological information and must accept the schedule of the funding organization.

Although NCDC has several hundred CDs filled with foreign meteorological observations, these data CDs may sit on a shelf for 1-2 years before being digitized. This is very distressing and we are attempting to speed up the process. However….each Data Rescue team understand the most important aspect of the data rescue project …the “rescue” of data that is in jeopardy…data that can be lost forever because of a fire, a flood, carelessness, war. The main reason our data rescue teams are working so hard is to get those valuable data safely stored on a medium where several copies can be easily made and widely distributed so there is no chance all copies will be destroyed. We all know that images on CDs of the paper data are not easily used for research or operations but that was never the intention. The CDs are the critical interim step in the whole process that will finally result in all the hydrometeorological data being digitized and freely available and very useful to the world community. When we find another source for the funds required to key in those meteorological data immediately, we will digitize data received in weeks instead of years. We are working to find other funding sources.


October-November 2005