A Recent Sound Science Project:

Sound Science recently developed for the US Military a sophisticated Excel-based cost estimator for land rehabilitation projects.

 

Sound Science’s Services in Technology, Database Development, GIS, and the Internet

See also Sound Science's page on Resources for Action.

Sound Science has specific experience developing databases of searchable research information that relate to ecological assessment, monitoring, and land management.

Because we are scientists ourselves, we are particularly careful about designing technological products that are sensitive to the ways scientists think about and search for information. Our designs for searchable content consistently reflect the users' desires for search terms that reflect their thought processes, well annotated data entries, and clean and clear user interfaces.

A core phase of any database design project is one or more workshop or focus group style meetings with users and stakeholders to define key needs and uses for the database. Key products in this phase include:

• Who will the users of the database be?
• What information is needed and/or desired by users?
• How do users want to search? Develop a complete list of typical database queries.
• What printing, download, and reporting services are needed?
• How do users want to see the information on their screens?

Answers to these questions drive the design of the database structure, the search architecture, user interface, and decisions about the necessary platform.

Examples of recent database design projects include the following, all of which are searchable databases of bibliographic information and data.

(1) Design of the interface and content for the LRAM Technical Reference Library (TRL) for the US Environmental Command, a searchable directory of best management practice documents.

(2) Design of the interface and content for the Monitoring and Assessment Directory (RAD) for the Range and Training Lands Assessment program (RTLA) of the US Military, a searchable database of metadata on monitoring studies conducted on military installations around the US and in Europe. Metadata included in the RAD are geographic location, key results, study design details, and other descriptive information.

(3) Design of the URL Search Tool, a keyword and geography-searchable Excel-based database of land management best management practices (BMP) on the web. This bibliographic database includes over 500 entries of both published and gray literature, each of which has descriptive meta-data.

(4) The Monitoring Project Assistant, a logic model-based tool for guiding scientists interesting in developing monitoring projects through a questionnaire that "frames" their project. Their specific answers to the framing questions lead to documents of specific suggestions for monitoring (developed by Sound Science) and a bibliography of further reference material.

(5) The Land Rehabilitation Cost Estimator was developed for the US Military Land Rehabilitation and Maintenance program (LRAM). It is a sophisticated Excel-based program that helps land managers estimate the components of cost in land rehab projects. Based on common Best Management Practices, the tool integrates material costs, labor, and equipment with user-supplied estimates of project size to create comprehensive cost estimates.

Contact Scott Santulli for more information on Sound Science's database, technology, and internet services.

For questions on Sound Science's work specifically in GIS and remote sensing, contact Jason Karl.

 

 

 
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