Introduction

The Trial Explorer is an exciting new way to make findings and discover information from cropping trials conducted across Australia in all three GRDC regions.

The Trial Explorer hosts trial information and supporting documents through engagement with a number of project contributors representing Queensland, New South Wales, Western Australia, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. The Online Farm Trials (OFT) project welcomes new partners and collaboration to expand the OFT database.  

For further information on contributing to and sharing data on the Trial Explorer, visit the get involved page.

Go to Trial Explorer

Key features:

  • Interactive and queryable map of trial sites with selectable layers of relevant information such as agroecological zones and average rainfall
  • Keyword search
  • Advanced search filters including treatment type, crop type and location 
  • Search results with graphical display of yield data, disease scores, etc. 
  • Integration of rainfall and temperature observations for trial sites
  • Original trial report documents linked to each trial project
  • Trial project details including methodology, outcomes and contact details
  • Links to other relevant information sources (eg NVT, GrowNotes)
  • Export/download of trial summary data

User guide

The Trial Explorer contains trial research data and information from contributing researchers and organisations around Australia. Each trial project may contain summary information, trial reports, trial results, soil tests, climate conditions and related links. Information on using the Trial Explorer is presented below in three sections.

Searching/filtering

Trial projects on the Trial Explorer can be refined to display relevant trial information by using the map search, the keyword search and using search filters.

Map search

The map search function allows users to refine trial projects by geographic location. This can be done in two ways as detailed below.

  1. Zoom to a selected area by holding the 'Shift' button and clicking and dragging over the target area of the map. Clicking and dragging without holding 'Shift' will pan across the map. With the desired geographic area displayed, there are two ways to show the trial projects displayed. Click the dots on the map, which represent the trial sites, to display links to the trial projects at that site, or click ‘Apply Filters’ to the left of the map to show the results in the standard list format below the map. To refresh the map either refresh the browser page (Ctrl+R), or click ‘Options’ in the map window, and select ‘All of Australia’ from the ‘Zoom to’ drop down menu.
     
  2. Refine by state or GRDC region by clicking ‘Options’ in the top right corner of the map and selecting an area from the ‘Zoom to’ drop down menu.  Please note clicking the ‘Options’ button again will hide this menu. The + and - buttons in the top left corner of the map can also be used to zoom in and out. To activate mouse wheel zooming, click 'Options' and check the 'Mouse wheel zoom' checkbox. 

The ‘Options’ menu also allows the user to change the base layer map and add a number of layers to the map. Click the checkboxes to toggle the layers on and off. 

Tips
  • Turn layers off to speed up navigation and zooming
  • Click the ‘Options’ button to toggle this menu on and off
  • If in doubt, refresh the browser page to return to default settings

Keyword search

The keyword search function lets users refine trial projects by keywords in the trial project title.

Click in the field marked ‘Enter keywords’, type a keyword of interest and click ‘Go’. This displays the results page and a list of trial projects with titles containing the keyword. The number of results returned is shown just below the map.

If the keyword returns too many or too few results, either refine the search using the filters or try a different keyword. Please note the keyword search uses an algorithm to search the key message, trial aims and trial title for the search phrase.  

Search filters

The Trial Explorer search filters allow users to refine trial projects to find relevant trial information. The primary search filters are found below the keyword search. Users can apply search filters in three ways:

  1. Applying filters to a preselected target area
  2. Using the filters after a keyword search has been applied
  3. Search filters can be used as the preliminary refinement method

Once the filter options have been selected, click ‘Apply Filters’.

Filter results are displayed in a list below the map. To the left of the results list are checkbox options to further refine the search from a range of categories. Below these checkboxes and in the tabs above the search results are buttons for the advanced filter options. 

To reset the filters, click ‘Reset Filters’, then ‘Apply Filters’.

Viewing trial information

Once the trial projects have been refined, users can then view information related to individual trial projects. To view the trial project information, click on a trial project title from the results list. This takes the user to a window displaying trial project details with a number of tabs below the trial title. Please note trial information is provided by the researcher and some fields may be blank where the relevant information has not been provided.

Trial

This tab shows general information about the trial project. Click ‘Bookmark URL’, to open the trial project in a new browser window with a unique URL. The URL in the new browser winder can be used to share the trial project. Click ‘Download the trial report’ to open a web PDF version of the original trial report.

Method/treatment

This tab shows the trial method information where it has been supplied by the researcher. This includes sowing and harvest information, trial plot details including treatments and agricultural applications.

Trial results

This tab shows graphs of the trial results followed by a table of the trial data. Hover the cursor over the graph results to display exact values and treatment information. Where more than one treatment is applied, ‘Chart legend options’ buttons appear above the graphs and in the data table below. Toggle between these buttons to change colour coding and chart x-axis labels.

Soil conditions

This tab shows soil texture and soil test data from the trial site where it has been supplied by the researcher. The Australian Soil Classification (ASC) Soil Order for the trial site is also supplied. Clicking the soil order title opens a pop up window with general information about the ASC Soil Order at the trial site. Closing this pop up window will return to the search results.

Climate

This tab shows rainfall and climate information for the trial site from the nearest Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) weather station. BOM information may not be available for all trial sites. Hovering the cursor over the charts provides exact information for the corresponding month of the year the trial was conducted.

Trial site rainfall information is displayed here if it has been supplied by the researcher.

Links and attachments

This tab is a repository for further information related to the trial project as supplied by the researcher. This usually contains the trial report but may also contain links to:

  • related trials on the Trial Explorer
  • trial site soil test data
  • external publications related to the trial project
  • images of the trial site.

Using trial information

After reviewing search results and trial information the Trial Explorer lets users share or export the trial information in a number of ways. This section will look at saving and sharing search results and exporting trial information.

Bookmarking searches

Creating a bookmark of a search lets the user apply the same search parameters at another time. Start by conducting a search. Once the search results have loaded, click ‘Save/Share’ in the tabs below the map. Then click ‘Save/Share bookmark’. Give the bookmark a name (e.g. Mallee wheat herbicide trials) and click ‘Save’.

Copying bookmarked search URL

To copy the bookmarked search, click the ‘Save/Share’ button below the map and then click ‘Manage bookmarks’. From here, either click the desired bookmark and copy the URL or right link the link and select the copy option. The name of this option varies between web browsers.

Sharing bookmarked searches

To share a bookmarked search, click ‘Save/Search’ and then “Manage bookmarks’. Options for sharing via social media and email are to the right of the bookmark title.

Exporting trial data

The Trial Explorer enables users to download trial data for their own manipulation. To do this run a search to compile a list of trials. Review the trials using the row of buttons below the trial year and location in the search results. Hovering the cursor over these buttons will bring up a description of their function.

If a trial does not contain information required in the desired data export it can be excluded using the ‘Exclude trial’ button. Once the list is refined, click the ‘Export’ button above the search results. Trial Explorer has a range of format options for the exported trial data.