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Natural Resources Web Portal

The Washington State Salmon and Watershed Information Management (SWIM) team needed an information portal that would provide a single location for accessing salmon and watershed data.

BACKGROUND

The SWIM team is a collection of natural resource agencies at the state, federal and local levels, as well as tribal and private organizations. The team was formed to coordinate access to data to support salmon recovery efforts throughout the state of Washington. The SWIM team came to Windsor on behalf of the Washington State Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation (IAC). The IAC coordinates and helps finance recreation and conservation projects while seeking input and direction from natural resource agencies and state citizens.

THE CHALLENGE PRESENTED

Many private organizations and state, federal and local agencies are involved with salmon recovery and/or watershed health issues across the Pacific Northwest. Overlapping and related data resources were managed and accessed in disparate ways by different state agencies. And when interested parties obtained the information, the data had to be integrated for the user’s specific interest or purpose. This frequently required formatting, conversion, filtering and other complicated steps.

The SWIM team believed that access to natural resource data would best be accomplished through the development and implementation of a statewide Natural Resources Information Portal.

WINDSOR AT WORK: OUR SOLUTION

To assist with the development of an information portal, the SWIM team asked Windsor to analyze, design and build a publicly available Natural Resources Information Portal. The purpose of the portal is to provide a single point of reference where interested parties could learn more about salmon and watershed information and have access to data necessary for reports, articles and more.

The first phase of the portal implementation included:

  • A data administration tool that would allow data caretakers to characterize and describe their resources
  • A dynamic query application that provides flexible search capabilities using key words and ad hoc and graphical queries
  • Query results are provided as a set of links to relevant information sources that link the user to the agency’s download location source (web site of FTP server)
  • Datasets remain in their current source system to allow each agency to be accountable for their own data with the portal providing query interfaces and access to these sources

Windsor Solutions used an iterative approach to the analysis, design and construction of this project. In doing so, the SWIM team had many opportunities to review, comment and revise the design of the system, which ultimately resulted in a better product. One aspect of this approach involved utilizing an external group of candidate portal users who provided feedback on the preliminary design. By engaging this focus group, everyone received some very real user perspectives on searching and results presentation that were eventually incorporated into the final product.

The Natural Resources Information Portal was successfully delivered ahead of schedule to the SWIM team.


Details

CLIENT: Washington Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation
DISCIPLINES: Water, Natural Resources
SERVICES:
PRODUCTS:

Interested in learning more?

Steve Rosenberger

Contact Steve Rosenberger
Windsor Solutions
(503) 675-7833 ext. 204
Email