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Welcome to a robust issue of the Spring 2006 DataBits’!!! We had many submittals this issue and the articles really show the diversity of this group. We hope you have as much fun reading this issue as we did putting it together. As many of the LTER sites have EML documents being generated, the focus of the IM community has shifted from generating EML to working with EML. There is a series of four articles in this issue of DataBits’ that explore multiple approaches with differing timeframes that IM’s are developing that will lead to better data discovery within EML. TRENDS also stops by to give an update on their progress. As data mangers, we often over-look some of the ways that we can outreach to our surrounding communities, and Chris Gardner from McMurdo Dry Valleys LTER provides a great avenue with the Children’s Book Series. A pair of editorials consider MySQL and PostgreSQL as well as the usual collection of informative articles, good reads, and news bits. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy this issue of Databits.

DataBits continues as a semi-annual electronic publication of the Long Term Ecological Research Network. It is designed to provide a timely, online resource for research information managers and to incorporate rotating co-editorship. Availability is through web browsing as well as hardcopy output. LTER mail list IMplus will receive DataBits publication notification. Others may subscribe by sending email to with two lines “subscribe databits” and “end” as the message body. To communicate suggestions, articles, and/or interest in co-editing, send email to

—– Co-editors: Brian Riordan (BNZ), Steve Bauer (CDR)

Table of Contents

Feature Articles
About this Issue2
Mining and Integrating Data from ClimDB and USGS using the GCE Data ToolboxWade Sheldon2
File Sharing Options: Elements of a Collaborative InfrastructureMason Kortz5
The LTER Children’s Book Series – an Opportunity for IM OutreachChris Gardner6
Putting EML to Work: The PTAH ProjectJohn Porter7
International Collaboration on EML-Based ApplicationsChi-Wen Hsiao8
Mobile GIS Technology: Trying it OutTom Kurkowski8
Trends in Long-Term Ecological Data: a collaborative synthesis project introduction and updateChristine Laney & Debra Peters10
Four Part Semantic Series
Multiple Approaches to Semantic Issues: Vocabularies, Dictionaries, and OntologiesKaren Baker, Deana Pennington, John Porter12
Improving Data Queries through use of a Controlled VocabularyJohn Porter13
Creating Information Infrastructure through Community Dictionary ProcessesKaren Baker, Lynn Yarmey, Shaun Haber, Florence Millerand, Mark Servilla14
Navigating Semantic Approaches: From Keyworkds to OntologiesDeana Pennington16
What does PostfreSQL, the world’s most advanced open source database, offer beyond the standard of an object-relational database management system?Sabine Grabner19
Experiences with MySQL 5.0 as a stand alone Relational Database in Ecological StudiesBrian Riordan20
News Bits
Unit Dictionary Working Group UpdateJonathan Walsh22
Governance Working Group Proposes Updates to LTER BylawsKaren Baker22
Good Reads
Information Management at NTL: History, Evolution, and InsightMark Servilla23
Designing InterfacesShaun Haber24
Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented SoftwareShaun Haber24
The Importance of IntertwinglingLynn Yarmey24
From Databases to Dataspaces: Opening up Data ProcessesKaren Baker25
Alaska’s Changing Boreal ForestBrian Riordan25