Eco Companion Australasia
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Benefits of membership

Eco Companion provides online document management and publishing facilities for members. This enables them to maintain collections of documents, so as to promote their colllections of available spatial data resources.

By having these facilities available as an Internet service, members are relieved of the need to acquire their own document management facilities. Otherwise, the person or agency would need to maintain software (evaluate, purchase, install, maintain, and update), understand how to write documents using XML/HTML and how to add special elements to increase chances of discovery, know how to create an Internet site and how to upload files. With Eco Companion you have none of those worries - our services do it all for you.

Members are assigned a private and secure space on our server where you can produce documents to your heart's content. Edit them over and over until you are satisfied with the presentation. No-one else can see a document until you choose to publish it.

Publishing with Eco Companion means that your documents are available through sophisticated searching facilities in a catalogue of consistent documents.

Some Eco Companion members are silent authors ... meaning that they do not publish through the Eco Companion catalogue. Rather, they manage documents in their private space, then transfer the set of consistent documents to their own server. Some organisations manage their dataset descriptions at their own site, and use our "ANZMP geospatial metadata parser" to validate their documents to ensure that the structure and content is correct and to produce presentation documents. Others use batch facilities to process many documents at once (validate each, produce presentation documents, insert headers and footers).

Eco Companion is a node of the distributed Australian Spatial Data Directory (ASDD) so your dataset descriptions receive high exposure. Grade 3 members can have a transparent ASDD node to serve a large collection of dataset descriptions.

We continually develop the Eco Companion facilities to utilise the latest digital library management techniques. The documents that are produced for you, contain "Dublin Core metadata elements" for effective resource discovery. As an Eco Companion member, you do not need to keep pace with the rapid development of the World Wide Web. In this way, the author can concentrate on the content of the documents, while we attend to methods for improved presentation and discovery.

Our catalogue is also available for searching through other virtual network libraries. As examples, HotMeta and Alta Vista automatically index our catalogue on a regular basis, so you can search HotMeta to find members' published documents (try "solar"). Without our services you can only ever simply submit the URL of your documents to the generic Internet search services.

The following document management facilities are currently available ...

The document "About membership" explains the grades of membership, entitlements, and costs.

Last Modified: 21 September 2001