In the GLOBE project, a case (case study) consists of three main parts: source, geometry, and case notes (metadata).

  1. Case Study: a study containing primary data on a specific geographic area that has been published in a trustworthy source.  Specific geographic areas may include multiple parts (ie. multiple plots, parcels, parks), but in the GLOBE system the geographic area and the data provided for it will be treated as a single, inseparable, geographic unit of study: the study site.
    • Source: a published source of data for the study site, especially in the form of peer-reviewed articles, books, book chapters, conference proceedings.
    • Study site: the geographic entity identified as the source of primary data for a case study.  The geography of case study sites can be complex, composed of multiple overlapping parts in almost any configuration.
  2. Geometry: the digital, georeferenced representation of the geographic entity described in the case-study as the study site.
    • Geographic entity: a description of the nature of the study site geography. Geographic entities are classified into five groups:
      • Administrative Units (city, county, country, district, municipality, parcel, park, principality, protected area, province, state, town)
      • Social Units (farm, field, village)
      • Landscape Units (basin, catchment, forest, lake, river, road, stream, watershed, wetland)
      • Study Units (GPS point, point, plot, quadrat, remote sensing image, study area)
      • Other (geographic region, unknown, unknown point)
    • Specifying case geometry can be done the following ways:
      • drawing over a google map (points, lines, polygons)
      • uploading a shapefile or a KML file
      • choosing a geometry from a database of existing geometries
  3. Case Notes: details about the origins of the academic source and geometry and the relationships between the two. 
    • Standard bibliographic information.
    • Publication keywords as well as case contributor-generated tags and notes.
    • Contact information for the study as an author email and/or link to contact info.
    • Link to the original published study- DOI (digital object identifier), ISSN number, or other permanent web link.
    • Description of georeferencing procedure used to create the geometry.
    • Case quality scores derived from the clarity, provenance, and conformance of case geometry in relation to the geographic description of the study site provided in the case-study.
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