Eco Companion Australasia
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About Eco Companion

The Eco Companion catalogue provides online document management facilities for members to maintain and publish their own information.

As a member, you use online forms to maintain the information content of your own dataset descriptions (concise and well-structured documents which describe your available earth-related data.

Guests can search for ecological resources and utilise basic locality map production facilities.

To promote your information and expertise we use online library search and retrieval systems that enable your catalogue records to be concisely searched from national and international directories and other online services.


Catalogue records describe resources

The Eco Companion catalogue records are short descriptions of various ecological resources (dataset descriptions).

These records describe resources using bibliographic elements which are concise metadata (data about data), such as: Title, Author, Description, Keywords, etc.

These summary documents allow authors to concisely describe their resources and also make a link to other documents which are managed at another location to more fully describe each resource. For example, your map-making business may have a home page at your local Internet Service Provider (ISP). Your Eco Companion catalogue records would describe each of your important map-based products and then link to your product descriptions, order forms, and maybe to sample data.

Quality is assured

Quality is assured and the content of the collections is well-targetted. All information is personally maintained and published by members using online forms that have content checking and validation. Automatic reminders help to keep records up-to-date. Editorial staff oversee the content using the search facilities, assisted by robots that conduct searches and regularly produce summaries. The Acceptable Content Policy governs the topic and content of all documents.

Content of the catalogue

Content is confined to the broad topic of ecological resources.

This includes: environment, biodiversity, ecology, conservation, catchment management, landcare, scientific studies, flora and fauna, monitoring, observation records, species lists, natural resources, bird watching, frog watching, education, wildlife, forests, sustainable development, renewable energy, passive solar design, alternative fuels, building and construction, sustainable agriculture, biodynamics, marine, oceans and seas, water quality, pollution, geographic information, spatial data, land information,

Geographic coverage is Australasia

Australia, New Zealand, outlying islands and territories, Australian Antarctic Territory.

Comprises various document collections

Precise searching

Sophisticated library services provide precise searching facilities - numeric, spatial (geographic location), temporal (date), phrase, field, full-text.

The facilities are interoperable with other search services, thereby contributing to virtual network libraries, such as: the G7 Global Environmental Information Locator Service (GELOS), the Global Information Locator Service (GILS) see GILS Showcase, and the Australian Spatial Data Directory (ASDD).

Members promote their resources

Members promote their collections or earth-related data (datasets) and associated services, simply by maintaining concise descriptions of those resources.

Facilities that are provided include: simple interfaces to guide your through the process of document management, online forms with limited HTML capability and field content checking; map production and locality plotting. Specialist processing services to specify the URL of a geographic metadata description, automatically retrieve it, validate it against the relevant standards, and generate various production documents.

Read about the many benefits of Eco Companion membership.


Basic membership costs nothing and provides a certain level of service. Additional publications and services attract a scale of fees. The grades of membership are fully explained in the document "About membership".

Basic membership gives you the following services:

Other member services cost money:

Guests can search and view all published information, but cannot contribute catalogue records. Guests can also use limited locality map facilities.

Acceptable Content Policy

The Acceptable Content Policy governs the content of the Eco Companion catalogue. Members must abide by these guidelines, which help to ensure that the collections contain relevant documents. Editorial staff have facilities to block members from access, remove published documents, and terminate membership.

Publish and Promote

Each of your documents contributes to the various collections which are indexed and made available for searching by the Isite information server. This library information server can be interrogated by any other network client or server that uses the Z39.50 protocol.

In this way your information is specifically integrated with other information services and directories:

All of your documents also carry your publication details written as META fields in the HEAD section of the HTML document using the Dublin Core Metadata Elements for resource discovery.

Eco Companion documents are also directly indexed by other general WWW services such as Google and Alta Vista.

Privacy statements

Specific privacy statements outline the activities and privacy issues for three classes of user: non-members (guests), members, editors. We make every effort to ensure the privacy of our users and we respect the trust that has been built.

More information

More detailed explanations about the Eco Companion service are available.


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Last Modified: 21 September 2001