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  • 1 Hungarian Academy of Sciences Institute of Ecology and Botany H-2163 Vácrátót Alkotmány u. 2–4 Hungary
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The survey results of the MÉTA program are managed with centralised relational database management system (MS SQL 2000) developed and set up in a local area network. Besides the MÉTA database server, a publishing server, an archiving server and a GIS workstation were applied. The core information entities of the MÉTA database are: information subproject, MÉTA quadrate, MÉTA hexagon, (semi-)natural habitat, potential vegetation with numerous habitats, landscape ecology and land use attributes, and surveyor. This information is coded in the nine main tables of the normalised database. In the recent state there are almost 1,500,000 records in the main tables that are managed in 241 independent fields. The published version of the MÉTA database supports the query service, and handles this information in 7 denormalised main tables. This much more redundant version is 11 GB in size. The 20.6% (179 man-month) of the human resources in the MÉTA program were devoted to the information tasks (set up and preparation, MÉTA database and information system development, replenishment and quality assessment, MÉTA query, GIS and printing services) between 2002 and 2007. The basic structure of the MÉTA database version 1.2 is finalised and the main functions regarding data processing have been developed. The accomplishment is higher than 90%, quality assessment is under way, while scientific verification and data harmonisation are started. The area of (semi-)natural and degraded vegetation of Hungary is estimated to 1,800,000 hectares (19.4% of the country) of which the natural, semi-natural is about 1,200,000 hectares (12.9% of the country). All of these are highly fragmented and unevenly distributed over the country. It is shown by several basic figures, professional content and quality measure facts of the database. There is also a fact sheet of surveyors that shapes the important characters of their field experience profile, too.

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