The Advanced Tracking and Resource tool for Archive Collections (ATRAC) provides a common interface for users to enter and display information on archiving projects at the NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).

Data Archiving

The goal of archiving is to accurately preserve a complete understanding of the data so that future users can fully use the data independent of producer assistance. This means that the expert knowledge must be archived with the data and that the data must be continually enhanced through proper data stewardship. This is accomplished through a well-defined archiving process from the onset of the data archive.

ATRAC Overview

Chart showing the ATRAC operational flow. The chart shows an input interface in which an archive request, submission agreement, standard metadata, and project summary can be used as input. There are documents output from this input interface as well as project dates and tasks and events. These are inputs for a display section, which include either a grid or timeline option.

ATRAC supports all phases of the archiving process by integrating the collection of project information with project tracking and document creation. A project consists of any number of tasks, where a task is an archive document or activity. The system is flexible in that it is not specific to any type of data or provider, and it efficiently maintains project information for re-use in other documents and projects.


The project search pages provide project status and summary information. The timeline view lists projects on a user-configurable time scale and the grid view sorts project attributes in table columns. Both the timeline and grid views share a project search to filter the display.

The edit section of ATRAC is a set of web forms that create archive documents and feed the project search pages. Anyone can create an account using an email address and login to enter information on a project. Note that access permissions to existing projects are set by project stakeholders. Users should read the archiving guidelines before starting a project.