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DataGURU – a new tool for disseminating and finding spatial temporal data

DataGURU is a webbased tool for disseminating and finding spatial temporal data

DataGURU is a tool for researchers to disseminate and find climate, land use, biodiversity and related data. The tool can also be of value as open data strategy in future applications for research funding. This work has been commissioned by the strategic research areas BECC and MERGE.

The team, led by researcher Veiko Lehsten, developed a tool for the dissemination of the research data that can be presented in the form of maps. The web-based tool, DataGURU, allows researchers to publish their data so that these are made available to other researchers, all in accordance with the increasing demands for open data in the context of scientific publications. At the same time the new tool is a service to researchers who are looking for spatial data from other research projects.

- Many research produces spatial data of various kinds, but after the project the data are often lost, says Veiko Lehsten, researcher at the Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science, Lund University.

A tool for different fields of research

Veiko Lehsten notes that the tool may be of interest to researchers in many fields, not just natural science. The link between, for example, climate and economic data, or climate and medical data, is highly relevant, says Lehsten. On the whole, the interdisciplinary perspectives are important, in both BECC and MERGE, he stresses.

Store, archive and search for data

DataGURU can help researchers to store and archive their own data as well as to search for available data, without geographical limits as data can be linked to locations throughout the world. Veiko Lehsten emphasizes that it does not involve static maps but spatial and temporal data. You can search the data you are interested in based on a variety of parameters, for example temperature, in a given geographical area and for a specific time period.

- The tool can be used by researchers seeking data in a field that they are not experts in themselves, Lehsten explains.

One of the major advances is that the tool allows to download the data in a format, spatial and temporal extend, as well as spatial and temporal resolution defined by the user. Hence strange file formats used in specific scientific fields are not obstacle more for the use of the data in different fields.  All data can be downloaded even in text formats to use the data in excel or as ArcGIS maps.

Of value in future applications

He also points out that the new tool could be of value in the researchers' future applications, for example the Research Council by, demonstrating that the research project has a strategy and a tool for the dissemination of future research data already in the application. Veiko Lehsten hopes that this new system to archive and make researchers spatial data accessible may be part of the university's overall strategy for the dissemination of research data in the future.

The tool even has a project mode where it can be used for data transfer within projects combining the services of data storage and conversion for different users with a access rights management which allows only users of a certain group, (i.e. project members) to access the data.

About DataGURU

DataGURU currently contains climate data for the past as well as climate projections until 2100, land use data and projections until 2050 and habitat projections until 2050.

You can find DataGURU here:

Use DataGURU to make your data available to other researchers and gain citations

  • Download spatial to temporal data in the format, resolution and extent you want.
  • Upload your own data and make it accessible – either publicly open to anyone or set limitations to a specific group that can access your data in a specific format.
  • Get your uploaded data cited when used by someone else. 
  • When publishing you can add a direct link to your data (reviewer often strongly encourage this).

Who can upload data?

Anyone who has a dataset that fits into the DataGURU stucture (spatio-temporal dataset with geolocation )

Who can download data?

Anyone. The service is especially targeted to ease the use of data for researchers that want to use data of a field which is not their specialty for their work.

An example of how DataGURU is used can be seen here:

Disentangling the effects of land-use change, climate and CO2 on projected future European habitat types, by Lehsten et all. (2015)

The text in the publication providing the link reads:

This study projected the distribution of broad habitat categories into the future, which can be a valuable input for SDMs.The simulated data presented in this study, as well as the projections of land use by the Dyna-CLUE model, can be accessed from the DataGURU server ( and can be used to project species occurrences based on broad habitat categories.


For questions contact Veiko Lehsten directly.