You are viewing a version of the Ocean Optics Web Book site specially-formatted for printing.
The authors' guiding idea for this web site is to create a web-based, dynamically growing, community resource that addresses both the education and reference needs of the broad optical oceanography and ocean color remote sensing communities and that will be freely accessible to all. We intend that the presentation eventually will span single particles to ecosystems, and theory to observations to instruments, at user-selectable levels of detail. We modestly hope that this site will become a new paradigm for education.
Why did we choose a web-based "book" format as opposed to a hardcover book? Because we wish to
Levels of Presentation
The web book has three levels of presentation:
We invite others to contribute material to the book to expand our initial offerings. However, we did not choose a wiki format in which anyone can add or modify material without restriction. This is first because we wish, at least initially, to retain editorial control over the organization of the book and quality of its content. Second, technical details related to how material such as complicated equations must be formatted for good appearance when translated for display in a web browser go beyond the abilities of standard text-based wiki syntax.
Indeed, generating complex material with equations, tables, and figures on a format that can be easily moved to the web site while preserving its appearance on any browser requires that all material be formatted as LaTeX files, which can then be automatically translated into html code using SiteTurbine software. SiteTurbine is very powerful and, for example, automatically converts LaTeX equations into figures that display well. There is, however, a bit of a learning curve in this process. If you wish to add material to the web site, let us know and we will provide documentation and examples showing how to prepare your material in LaTeX format for uploading to SiteTurbine.
The mechanics of usage.
The content is ordered by chapters, pages, and files. A chapter discusses a general topic, such as absorption. A page is the amount of material that can be scrolled through on the browser without clicking to go to another page. A page usually presents the details on a specific subject, e.g., black body radiation or absorption by CDOM. Level 3 material is often files, which can be downloaded or opened outside of the current browser window.
When viewing a particular page of the book, a chapter-level table of contents is always seen at the left side of the window. Clicking on a chapter title expands the contents to show all Level 1 pages in the chapter and a Level 2 button, which can be expanded to show all Level 2 pages for that chapter. Clicking again collapses the contents back to the original level.
The information bar at the top of each page contains a search box at the upper right. If you enter a key word or phrase in the box and click on "go", a column appears at the right showing the search results with page names and a few words of text before and after each occurrence of the search string. Clicking on any of these listings takes you to the appropriate page, where the search string is highlighted. You can also right click on a search result and select to open the page in a new browser window or tab, in the customary fashion. When done with the search results, click the "clear" button at the upper right to make the column of search results disappear. The search string is taken exactly as typed. If you enter "volume scattering functions" the search will find only that exact phrase and will not show occurrences of "volume scattering function" or just "scattering." A search on "scattering" would find any of these strings.
If you wish to print a page, just use your browser's print feature. The page will be reformatted for printing and can be viewed via the browser's "print preview" option.
The bottom of each page contains buttons to move to the next or preceding page. There is also an option to "comment on this page." This opens a window where you can enter your name, email address, and comment. Your comment will go to the "principle author" of the page, who is named at the upper right of each page. Each page has a principle author who generated the original material and who is responsible for maintaining the page. That person will act on your comment as needed, e.g., by correcting an error or adding new material and, if appropriate (and with your permission) adding your name as a contributor to the page.
Dynamic numbering of equations, figures, and tables is a powerful feature of LaTeX. However, dynamic figure and table numbers sometimes get lost in the LaTeX to html translation. Missing or "bad" numbers are replaced with a button, so that you sometimes see text like "Figure illustrates...." Clicking on the will take you to the referenced figure or table, even if its number is not shown correctly.
AcknowledgmentsFunding to develop the website software and initial content was generously provided by the Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The scientific material itself has of course been developed over many decades with support from NASA, the Office of Naval Research (in particular, the ONR Ocean Optics program, regardless of its exact name at any given time), the National Science Foundation, and other agencies in the US and abroad. This funding went to the web site authors and to the numerous scientists whose work is presented here in one form or another.
We originally planned to have much more material on the web site for its initial release, and we have all of the usual excuses for not having accomplished more with the available funding. Developing the SiteTurbine website management and LaTeX-to-html conversion software was non-trivial, and there was a steep learning curve for generating figures that display well on low to high resolution monitors and any web browser. However, we hope you find that the initial material is well presented, useful, and worthy of expansion (with your help!) to fill in the many missing topics and details. We have no intention that the web site will ever be complete. But enough of philosophy--please start using!