WebGIS-based data center design for polar science studies: simulation of Türkiye

Müge Şenel*, H. Hakan Yavaşoğlu, Burcu Özsoy, Himmet Karaman, M. Ümit Gümüşay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scientific studies concentrated in Antarctica hold great value and importance for humanity. Research projects are conducted in various disciplines on the continent, where nearly 100 research stations from 30 countries are established. Despite the challenges posed by Antarctica’s natural structure, unique environment, difficult working conditions, and limited logistics opportunities, scientific research conducted there is indispensable due to the valuable information it offers. In pursuit of accessing this information, Turkish Antarctic expeditions have been organized since 2017. In this study, a polar data center was established through a web-based geographic information system (WebGIS), a significant infrastructure for the continuity of scientific studies. The implemented projects and raw/ processed data from previous expeditions in diverse subjects and disciplines, including geology, geophysics, geography, hydrology, meteorology, oceanography, glaciology, atmospheric physics, chemistry, microbiology, and remote sensing, were incorporated into this information system. Studies in Antarctica have primarily focused on observing the effects of global warming, necessitating the monitoring of past and current data related to sea ice, sea level, and coastal changes. The data also encompasses seismic, volcanic, tectonic, and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) monitoring. As suggested by the Antarctic Treaty, a user-friendly website was designed and made accessible for research projects, data, and publications. An entity relationship diagram was created for the fields to be included in the database. These fields were structured as tables using structured query language (SQL) queries in PgAdmin. A workspace and storage area were created in GeoServer, and a connection was established with PostGIS. Layers of spatial and nonspatial data from the PgAdmin application were added to the GeoServer workspace. The data transferred to GeoServer were presented in an OpenLayers web map with Web Map Service (WMS) and Web Feature Service (WFS) according to Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards. Additionally, a mini web map was designed using the desktop Quantum GIS (QGIS) application and GIS Cloud collaboration, displaying GNSS and meteorological (weather) observation stations on the continent. A dynamic web project was employed for coding in Eclipse software, where backend coding was done with JavaScript. SQL was used as a part of the backend to integrate data from the database per request. Frontend coding for the website’s visual side was completed with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. As a result, a WebGIS platform was developed where researchers can register, add projects, and publications, and view data on a map. Users can download, analyze, and utilize the available data. The data center’s existence underscores the importance of polar science and serves as an incentive for further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1052-1064
Number of pages13
JournalTurkish Journal of Earth Sciences
Issue numberSI-8
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:


  • Antarctica
  • Polar science
  • QGIS
  • WebGIS
  • data center


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