Collecting and Managing Data

Data collection and data consumption are both very important technologies for CSESP. During the cruise an emphasis is placed on consistency and accuracy, allowing the team members to quickly enter data into a consolidated database. After the cruise that consistency helps make the analysis phase easier on the scientists and sponsors, due in part to the data being formatted consistently throughout the process.

Data Collection Software

A highlight of and essential piece to the success of the CSESP program is data collection software, TigerObserver. Created by TigerSoft, TigerObserver is designed to be easy to use, to facilitate rapid data entry, to standardize input and to reduce errors. TigerObserver provides three main benefits over manual paper and pencil data entry:

  1. Drop-down text entries are used wherever possible to reduce the amount of typing the field crews do, which saves time and prevents data errors
  2. GPS and meteorological data from the vessel are automatically attached to each record
  3. Data are automatically backed up to a server in real-time. Even if a laptop goes overboard, there is no loss of data.


TigerObserver and TigerNav are developed by Tigersoft. Please contact Hoa Luu for more information:

Dropcam: Viewing the Ocean Floor

The dropcam is used to examine the creatures living on the ocean sediments. A sample video of the output from this unique data collection device can be found on the program Flickr site.

Laptops are used almost everywhere during each cruise. They allow researchers to collect data wherever they are in a standardized format, feeding to a central server.
The TigerObserver software tracks the ship's movements through the vessel's navigation systems and allows the scientists to georeference their observations
The dropcam is capable of viewing the ocean floor, or benthic habitat, allowing researchers to identify and count the species present in a sample area