A new faster and easier type of optical microscopy image data platform has become available to all researchers, students and staff at UQ.
The RCC OMERO platform for data curation, management and analysis, prototyped at UQ’s Queensland Brain Institute, features a familiar UQ login interface, robust publication and metadata management strategies, and a gold standard in data assurance, backup and long-term recovery capabilities.
OMERO, based upon the Open Microscopy Environment and Bio-Formats standards, is the premiere open source and community-endorsed solution for the full imaging lifecycle through importation, organisation, viewing, analysis, publication and exportation.
The RCC OMERO platform underwent extensive testing within QBI over the last two years — QBI being one of the most complex and intensive microscopy facilities in the southern hemisphere. Over that period, the platform was extended and integrated with UQ systems to allow for a cohesive experience for optical microscopy users.
The platform allows for the quick and simple transfer of data to or from QRIScloud via a web browser or the dedicated OMERO.insight client. It enables ‘at your fingertips’ management of significant microscopy data sets, as well as discovery and automated metadata tagging, as opposed to using group shares and traditional storage technologies, which are a concept long outgrown for big data management.
“QBI reached a point where traditional storage mechanisms (large unstructured data shares) for optical microscopy data were no longer scalable, so OMERO became the go-to platform for content discovery and management,” said Jake Carroll, QBI’s Senior IT Manager (Research).
Already used by some of the world’s largest imaging-intensive research organisations, OMERO enables UQ’s microscopy-intensive users to put their data in a central location, rather than less reliable means, such as USBs, laptops and desktops.
Once data is in OMERO, users can view, publish, download and analyse them from anywhere in the world, at the touch of a button.
OMERO also allows for and fosters deep collaborations inside teams working on the same project, and between institutions worldwide working on similar domains or scientific undertakings.
Future plans for the RCC OMERO platform include integration with MeDiCi, UQ’s new data storage fabric, and adding new, high throughput ingest mechanisms for even faster data transference.
The OMERO technology is now available via the RCC website for all UQ users.