Field: Dissemination of information
Global Technical function: Managing
Technical Function Unit: Modelling, Software tool
Geographic Area: Czech Republic

NATURNET-REDIME

NATURNET-REDIME was a research project that focused on education and training activities related to sustainable development. The project aimed to help different stakeholders (citizens, students, teachers, scientists and policy makers) to understand the factors and tools that affect sustainable development. The project was funded under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), and was coordinated by a Centre of Czech Republic (Czech Centre for Science and Society-CCSS).

The project was originally conceived as a collaboration of two different projects (NATURNET and REDIME). Consequently, the main results of the project can be divided according to these projects; one of the main outputs of the projects has been an Internet architecture (Naturnet) for enabling users to access in an integrated way to most of the available knowledge about sustainable development. Additionally, the Redime component focused on developing new learning tools. One of the main outcomes has been Garp3, a qualitative modelling and simulation workbench based on Qualitative Reasoning (QR) concept. Several models have been obtained for showing sustainability issues in different places: Riverine landscape Kamp (Austria), River Mesta (Bulgaria) and Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve (Romania). Moreover, Garp3 was used for analysing the ecological and socio-economic aspects of river rehabilitation in England. Nowadays, Garp3 is an extended tool which is used by ecologist for developing sustainable development models for educational and research purposes.

In addition to Garp3, several complementary tools which have been developed within the project have been designed for managing geographical data. A representative example is Mapman, a software tool for creating maps and compositions, based on different data sources (e.g. GIS data from Internet).Furthermore, a Macromedia shockwave based online viewer is provided for representing 3D landscapes obtained from raster and vector data. A supplementary application for representing geodata in mobile devices has also been applied.

Another useful tool is URM (Uniform Resource Management), a framework for sharing information and knowledge, where description of concepts is adapted to standard schemes and vocabularies. These schemes describe the meaning, characteristics, relationships and properties of information. Additionally, an Internet-based interactive template matrix (MyMatrix) for comparing/assessing different parameters is also an outcome of the project. This matrix has been designed to be interactive, allowing an iterative tuning of properties and impacts/ratings. The results of the comparison are displayed as a polar graph. Finally, other tools include a portal for organising Multimedia events which provides support for on line lectures.

The project ended in 2007, and many outcomes have been thoroughly used. For example, URM has been used in projects like ENVIROGRIDS, whereas Garp3 is commonly used by ecologist for research and formative purposes. Moreover, dissemination of information about this project is still active through the web portal Naturnet, which is updated thanks to other EU funded projects. So, the project reaches a level 9 in the TRL scale. Project partners would be interested in developing new applications from the aforementioned tools, covering new fields (like e-tourism, e-training or e-government), through joint cooperation with industrial partners and research institutes.