UmeƄ University
Although databases in themselves are useful resources, they are greatly enhanced by the addition of advanced data retrieval and analysis tools. The SEAD project is developing a number of essential tools for analysing and visualising palaeoecological data.
Tools header
A workspace environment for analysing and visualising data on past climates, environments and human interaction with these.

The SEAD project aims to provide a comprehensive suite of interfaces for retrieving, adding, altering, analysing and visualising the contents of the database. The majority of these will be available online, with more advanced features and data entry through downloadable software components which will synchronise seamlessly with the online database. This concept allows users to easily compare their unpublished data, held on the local machine, with the central data and upload it when ready. Uploaded data will pass through a clearing house to ensure that everything is correct and complete. A prototype online interface is curently available and the data entry tools are available for download on request.

The SEAD team are coordinating with the Neotoma consortium and HUMlab in order to provide globally accessible and intuitive access to environmental archaeology data (see collaboration for more info.)

Click on the image below to open a HD resolution Flash presentation of the SEAD screenscape concept. This presentation was used at the HUMlab 2 opening ceremony on the 14th May 2009, and outlines some of theoretical and and domain science work behind the software development in SEAD.

It's 6.5MB and 1920x1080 pixels, so please be patient whilst it downloads... (no preloader, sorry!)

SEAD project screenscape concept from HUMlab opening even

Data exploration

Data mining thumbnail

GIS thumb


Climate reconstruction thumb

SEAD incorporates adaptive map and category search systems for finding data relevant to the users' research questions, graphically, geographically and text based searching (see online prototype)

SEAD provides not only the facility to find relevant datasets, but also aggregate and analyse them collectively, across space, time and proxy data source. This gives users access to more powerful analyses in the form of inter-regional studies, theme based analyses and time-slice modelling.

SEAD will incorporate the environmental and climatic reconstruction facilities currently available in the BugsCEP system, providing access to beetle based quantitative climate and landscape interpretations. These systems will be improved and expanded, and further methods will be added through collaboration with external research groups. Improvements to the Mutual Climatic Range (MCR) climate reconstruction method will be built into the system.

Data are often best understood when presented graphically. SEAD will include a number of graphing and presentation systems for making data and analysis results easier to comprehend and disseminate.

(See the Flash presentation for close ups...)
  Data analysis

Complex data analysis thumb


Environmental reconstruction thumb

Environmental Archaeology methods thumb


Quatlity assurance and data dissemination

A number of mechanisms ensure that only reliable data are available through SEAD. All submitted data are subject to evaluation by a clearing house where any inconsistancies or problems with the data are ironed out in communication with the data provider. This model is integral to the project structure, and considered essential for ensuring transparency in scientific research. The database also includes the facility for flagging data quality, authorship and origin, method descriptions and a number of other hard wired quality indicators and tracers.

SEAD project and clearing model

This page will be progressively updated as tools are developed and tested.

Last updated: 2015-01-15 Webmaster: Phil Buckland