Contour is a distributed software platform that collects fisheries data to aid in the recovery of fish stocks around the world. E-mail Dominic Tracey [journal] with questions or comments.

The Vision

Perhaps the best way to understand the concept is to look at a proposed case study. Essentially, the Contour system will consist of client installations on fishing and research vessels which will collect positional, bathymetric and fish stock data and server nodes that will aggregate and provide analysis tools for the data collected by the clients. The client software will act as a wheelhouse position plotter and be integrated with various GPS and sounding machines. After each tow or set, data about the catch is collected by the system. The data is uploaded (either real-time or at the end of each trip) and merged into a central data warehouse where data cleansing and reporting functions operate.

Contour is released under the GNU General Public License. See the Project Home Page to download the latest release (version 0.9.2 -- Linux only). You may also find the project's history interesting.

System Architecture
The system currently is implemented in C++ using the GTK+ toolkit. It is currently developed under Linux though most any system with a GTK+ port should work. The code is abstracted enough that porting to another toolkit shouldn't be much of a problem and thought has been given to running the application in an embedded environment. The database work is done with PostGreSQL, though again the abstraction layers should allow porting to other RDBMS's quite easily. GPS integration is provided for NMEA-compliant models. Fisheries data collection is currently implemented through a locally running web server being fed information by an embedded browser component. This architecture will provide the maximum flexibility for future distributed system designs providing real-time updates to centralized data processing facilities. This architecture also lends itself to "two-ticket" reconciliation submissions from shore-based processing locations.
Project Status
During fishing operations, the client system acts as an advanced position plotter system. It takes as input MGD-77 format bathymetric data (which is available from the National Geophysical Data Center on CD-ROM). Upon completion of each fishing effort, the captain is presented with dialog boxes that collect and transmit catch data to a database. Other screens present catch summaries and historical data to the captain. The collected fisheries and positional data in the database is periodically uploaded through a satellite uplink, cellular modem or removable media. The screen captures below show the Contour client software in action:
Screenshot 1:
(click thumbnail for larger image)
Basic position plotter display: The bar along the bottom of the display shows the colors used to represent ocean depth from the deepest on the left (black) to the shallowest on the right (red). The control widget in the top right corner allows the user to pan and zoom.
Screenshot 2:
(click thumbnail for larger image)
Trackline Overlay: Tow lines are automatically generated from the GPS feed. When the tow is complete the catch data collection process begins.
Screenshot 3:
(click thumbnail for larger image)
Tow data collection screen: Configurable for each fishery, data can be broken down by species and cull. Discards can be tracked through the same interface, along with measurements that facilitate catch/effort calculations.
Screenshot 4:
(click thumbnail for larger image)
Sample Trip Sheet: shows breakdowns of species and culls. Released software will have totals row at bottom.
Screenshot 5:
(click thumbnail for larger image)
Net Entry Page: By collecting comprehensive data about nets and vessels, catch data can be correlated to gear modifications and other ancillary analyses.
Screenshot 6:
(click thumbnail for larger image)
Crew Entry Page: By collecting crew information, socio-economic studies on regulatory impacts on the fishing communities are feasible.

Contour News
Distributed Architecture   aquilon - 2002-10-29 19:07   -   Contour
The ability to define remote webservers to submit catch data to is now integrated. This allows boats to send catch reports directly to secure onshore data centers. Get the latest code from CVS and set the webserver address in the Preferences dialog.
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Release 0.9.9    aquilon - 2002-05-18 12:52   -   Contour
Source release including Mozilla/Apache/PHP data entry to PostgreSQL back-end, GPS integration, autoconf, tons of new features as well as performance and stability fixes.
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Easy install and build   aquilon - 2002-01-24 18:55   -   Contour
With the new autoconf code installation, trying out Contour is as easy as getting the source from cvs and typing ./configure; make!
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Mozilla integration in CVS   aquilon - 2001-11-08 17:12   -   Contour
With no release in a while, cvs has been updated to include the latest stable work with Mozilla's Gecko technology working with Apache/PHP for data entry chores. This framework looks to a future where many distributed parties in a variety of fisheries are collaborating through port 80!
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Release 0.9.1 is out   aquilon - 2001-07-29 08:23   -   Contour
Binary release for Linux only includes GPS support, lots of speed-ups, bug fixes, memory leak plugs and the like.
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© 2001 Aquilon Technology Systems, Inc.

Last updated: May 15 2002 02:10:52.
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