Neotoma is an international database collaborative effort among individuals from 19 institutions. The lead institutions are Pennsylvania State University and the Illinois State Museum.
Neotoma provides an underlying cyberinfrastructure that enables the development of common software tools for data ingest, discovery, display, analysis, and distribution, while giving domain scientists control over critical taxonomic and other data quality issues.
Neotoma covers the Pliocene-Quaternary part of the geologic record, the time during which humans evolved and during which modern ecosystems developed.
The database is implemented in Microsoft SQL Server, a highly scalable client-server relational database management system suitable for web servicing. Database products such as data files and graphics may therefore by delivered in real time from the current database rather than from prepackaged files and graphics. Interoperability with Microsoft Access and free desktop editions of SQL Server facilitate development with local standalone versions of the database.
The Neotoma community operates with a bottom up design so that data structure and quality are determined by advisory boards representing the various data communities (consortia).
Neotoma can accommodate virtually any type of fossil data.&nbsp; It is available for use by other data cooperatives that are welcome to develop their own individualized frontends to the database, as well as remotely input and update data.