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Future Internet 2011, 3(4), 248-280; doi:10.3390/fi3040248

Natural Resource Knowledge and Information Management via the Victorian Resources Online Website

1
Future Farming Systems Research Division, Department of Primary Industries, 1301 Hazeldean Road, Ellinbank 3821, Victoria, Australia
2
Future Farming Systems Research Division, Department of Primary Industries, 32 Lincoln Square North, Carlton 3053, Victoria, Australia
3
Future Farming Systems Research Division, Department of Primary Industries, Cnr Midland Highway and Taylor Street, Epsom 3551, Victoria, Australia
4
Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network, Faculty of Architecture, Planning and Building, The University of Melbourne, Level 5, Architecture Building, Victoria 3010, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 September 2011 / Revised: 21 October 2011 / Accepted: 3 November 2011 / Published: 9 November 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Internet and Landscapes)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [8788 KB, 14 November 2011; original version 9 November 2011]   |  

Abstract

Since 1997, the Victorian Resources Online (VRO) website (http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/vro) has been a key means for the dissemination of landscape-based natural resources information via the internet in Victoria, Australia. The website currently consists of approximately 11,000 web pages, including 1900 maps and 1000 downloadable documents. Information is provided at a range of scales—from statewide and regional overviews to more detailed catchment and sub-catchment levels. At all these levels of generalisation, information is arranged in an organisationally agnostic way around key knowledge “domains” (e.g., soil, landform, water). VRO represents a useful model for the effective dissemination of a wide range of natural resources information; relying on partnerships with key subject matter experts and data custodians, including a “knowledge network” of retired land resource assessment specialists. In this paper, case studies are presented that illustrate various approaches to information and knowledge management with a focus on presentation of spatially contexted soil and landscape information at different levels of generalisation. Examples are provided of adapting site-based information into clickable maps that reveal site-specific details, as well as “spatialising” data from specialist internal databases to improve accessibility to a wider audience. Legacy information sources have also been consolidated and spatially referenced. More recent incorporation of interactive visualisation products (such as landscape panoramas, videos and animations) is providing interactive rich media content. Currently the site attracts an average of 1190 user visits per day and user evaluation has indicated a wide range of users, including students, teachers, consultants, researchers and extension staff. The wide range of uses for information and, in particular, the benefits for natural resource education, research and extension has also been identified. View Full-Text
Keywords: WWW; internet; spatial information; natural resources; soil; landscape; knowledge and information management; visualisation; animation WWW; internet; spatial information; natural resources; soil; landscape; knowledge and information management; visualisation; animation
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Imhof, M.; Cox, M.; Fadersen, A.; Harvey, W.; Thompson, S.; Rees, D.; Pettit, C. Natural Resource Knowledge and Information Management via the Victorian Resources Online Website. Future Internet 2011, 3, 248-280.

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