Sample of new Great Lakes Monitoring website. (Courtesy of Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant)
The Great Lakes region is home to around 20 percent of the world’s freshwater and some 40 million people, many of whom depend on the water bodies for drinking water and other benefits. Because of that value, the lakes are understandably dissected and sampled by many different organizations throughout the year.
But what happens to all the data? Well, it’s out there, typically with different datasets posted on the websites of organizations that collect them. This setup, though good for the collecting entity, makes it difficult sometimes for researchers or those generally interested to find all the numbers they’re looking for.
To alleviate some of the frustration, a new website launched by the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is pulling datasets gathered from around the basin into a one-stop shop. The new site is called greatlakesmonitoring.org and looks to make it easier for people to access the figures they need. The site does this through a variety of tools that permit visitors to filter the info they see by data source, parameter, specific lake and even time period, back to the 1970s.
Top image: Sample of new Great Lakes Monitoring website. (Courtesy of Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant)