Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Video Annotation and Reference System (VARS) 
VARS Software Release

VARS Software Technical Workshop (past)


The first VARS technical workshop has already taken place. The technical documentation and user materials are still available from the VARS website on SourceForge, in the Developer documentation pages.

Past workshop information

In December 2005, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) held a two-day technical workshop to provide user and support training for the VARS system. The focus was on science capabilities, operational use, and technical support of the VARS application. The workshop was held at the MBARI site in Moss Landing.

Date and time

Monday and Tuesday, December 12-13, 2005
(just after the American Geophysical Union meeting,
December 5-9, in San Francisco)


Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI)
7700 Sandholdt Road
Moss Landing, CA 95039


  • Demonstration of MBARI video observation processes and use of VARS for analyses
  • Design of the VARS software and underlying database
  • Accessing the VARS software as open source
  • Guidelines for modifying and re-submitting your open source code
  • Instruction on how to adapt and install VARS software for use by other researchers or institutions


Participants were expected to have a basic understanding of Java and databases and to bring their own laptops for the workshop activities.

Equipment and preparation

Participants were requested to bring their own laptops with the VARS software and test database already installed. Instructions for downloading and installing the software and database were sent well ahead of the workshop.

VARS works on Windows 2000 and XP, MAC OS X, and Linux/UNIX (with some limitations). It requires Java Runtime Environment, version 1.4 or later. The VARS software is now available for download here.

VARS was tested on MS SQL server and Apache Derby databases for this workshop, but other databases can also be supported.


There were no fees for the VARS Workshop, and participants registered in advance.

Accommodations and logistics

A continental breakfast, lunch, beverages, and snacks were provided.
Transportation, lodging, and meals (other than those included in the workshop) were the responsibility of the participant.


Last updated: Feb. 06, 2009