Winter 2017

This area is NOT intended to be changed. Unless a textual update is warranted.

Powered by ScienceBase Image -Text: ScienceBase Updates - User tips, developments, and news


Displaying Information in the ScienceBase Preview Map

The ScienceBase preview map is a great way to provide users with additional information about data or resources on an item. There are three ways to display data in the preview map in ScienceBase.

1. Display a resource’s bounding coordinates

When ScienceBase parses an uploaded metadata record to automatically populate a page, the bounding coordinates from the metadata are displayed as a bounding box in the preview map.

Screenshot of an example of a bounding box in the ScienceBase preview map


2. Create a footprint using  the Footprinter tool

Users can access the Footprinter tool in the “Where” tab of the item edit form. There are several ways to add a footprint. Users can upload a zipped shapefile, draw a custom footprint on screen, or search for a previously saved footprint in the catalog. Note that adding a footprint using the Footprinter will overwrite any existing data or bounding boxes displayed in the preview map. If a user is trying to delineate the geospatial footprint of a given resource that is not a GIS dataset (e.g., specifying a project boundary, the location where tabular data were recorded, etc. ) the Footprinter tool is the preferred method for capturing this information in ScienceBase, rather than attaching a separate GIS dataset to the item.

Screenshot of the ScienceBase Footprinting Tool


3. Display geospatial data

ScienceBase can generate web services for certain geospatial file types (shapefiles, GeoTIFFs in WGS84, and ESRI Service Definition (.SD) files). If a user uploads one of these file types, ScienceBase will recognize the format and bring up a popup window. After the “Create Extension” option is selected in the popup, ScienceBase will generate a web mapping service from the data and display the data in the preview map.

Screenshot of an example shapefile web mapping service displayed in the ScienceBase preview map


What’s New with Digital Object Identifiers and ORCIDs?

For users publishing a USGS data release in ScienceBase, the ScienceBase point of contact can help authors mint a digital object identifier (DOI) for the data release. As part of this process, the ScienceBase team is now also collecting the Open Researcher and Contributor ID (ORCID) for all authors of a data release. An ORCID is a unique identifier for a researcher that will persist even as authors move from one organization to another or change their names. ORCIDs will help to streamline a number of workflows in the USGS, such as compliance with the USGS Public Access Plan and maintenance of product lists (publications, data releases, etc.) for curricula vitae and Research Grade Evaluations (RGE). As ORCIDs are incorporated into the USGS Active Directory system, they will also be included in USGS employees’ ScienceBase profiles, which will assist in unambiguously identifying authors across the ScienceBase system. All USGS employees are encouraged to obtain an ORCID if they have not already done so. USGS personnel can review the USGS Leaders Blogs by Bill Werkheiser and Alan Thornhill to learn more about USGS’s ORCID requirements.  As additional details are finalized across the Bureau with the ORCID integration effort, new information will be shared to help utilize these identifiers to automate publication and citation tracking.

There are also a couple of other DOI-related updates. There is now a preferred method for writing a resolvable DOI URL: Other prefixes, such as “,” will continue to resolve to landing pages, but authors are now advised to switch to the secure ‘https’ convention when referencing DOIs.

Finally, users should note that when the ScienceBase team first mints a DOI for a data release, the DOI is in a ‘reserved’ status. Once the data author receives approval to publicly release the data, the DOI’s status will be changed to ‘published’ and it will begin linking to the landing page. Often, when the DOI is published, it will begin linking within seconds or minutes of the update; however, occasionally, the update may take up to 24 hours. This DOI publication process is controlled by EZID and not by the ScienceBase system. If an author has a high profile news release or journal publication with a DOI link to a data release in ScienceBase, the author should work with the ScienceBase team to ensure that the DOI is published at least 24 hours in advance of the link being broadcast publicly to avoid any issues with this delay. 


Metrics Tracking for Items in ScienceBase

ScienceBase has made web metrics available on all ScienceBase items for data producers and users. Web metrics can be used to track the amount of traffic an item receives and to understand how visitors interact with items. Access to the metrics can be found at the bottom of every item page under “Item Actions” as shown in figure 1.

Screenshot showing the ScienceBase Item Actions and highlighting the Metrics button.


Figure 1. Screenshot showing the "Metrics" button under the ScienceBase "Item Actions" at the bottom of every ScienceBase item.

ScienceBase tracks two major types of metrics for each item: item requests and file downloads.

Item requests provide information about the volume and type of web traffic for any given ScienceBase item. Requests do not always represent a ‘viewing’ of an item from a web browser, although this is one type of request. A request is a call to the ScienceBase system for certain action. For example, a request can be a call for a page load, a read request through the application program interface (API), or an update to the item either through the ScienceBase web interface or the API. Some applications that regularly interact with ScienceBase items through web services could generate thousands of requests in a short amount of time.

ScienceBase displays the number of item requests over a set period of time as well as the types of requests (from browsers, scanners, etc.) (see figure 2). ScienceBase provides more detailed information about the types of requests under “Agent Requests” and where requests are coming from which are “Location Requests.”

Screenshot of an example of the Item Requests graph of a ScienceBase item metrics page


Figure 2. Number of item requests by type over a given period of time.

ScienceBase also tracks the number of file downloads from ScienceBase items with attached files. USGS data providers who have released data through ScienceBase, may find this metric helpful for determining how many times their data and metadata were downloaded. If an attached file has never been downloaded before, the file will not be displayed in the File Downloads section of the metrics report. ScienceBase also tracks the number of times users download all files as a Zip file, called “ZIP (all files),” and the number of times they download all files from the child items, called “ZIP (nested children)” (See figure 3).

Screenshot of an example of the File Downloads section of a ScienceBase item metrics page


Figure 3. Number of file downloads from a ScienceBase item.

To allow for the most up-to-date information available for each item, ScienceBase metrics are refreshed daily. The ScienceBase team may continue to develop web metrics to further refine these numbers and ensure that they tell an accurate and easily understood story of web usage for data producers and ScienceBase users. The ScienceBase team would welcome any ideas for improvements or requests for other types of metrics. 

Site Team