Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Video Annotation and Reference System (VARS)
VARS Query Glossary

This is a list of the various entry items and buttons on the VARS query interface. The specific window or tab where the item appears is noted in parentheses. Details on how to use these features are in the VARS Query User Guide.

+ ADD button (Basic)
Use to add a concept and any associations to the query.
Advanced tab
Presents a form for entering detailed requests and constraints for query returns. Check the return boxes to get detailed information returned with query results. Check the constrain boxes and enter appropriate values to specify and/or limit the information returned. Instructions for entries are on the User Guide page for Advanced Queries.
Association (Advanced)
A section of the Advanced tab, with the following entry items:
  • Associations
  • Link Name
  • Link Value
  • To Concept
Also see Association in the User Guide.
Associations (Advanced)
A sub-section of Association, on the Advanced tab. Also see Associations in the User Guide.
association (Basic)
Allows specifying of annotations that describe the concept name in more detail (behavior, color, posture, sample information, etc).
Camera Data (Advanced) 
A section where details of camera settings—minimum and maximum—can be entered for the following items:
  • Camera Direction
  • Camera Name
  • Field Width
  • Focus
  • Iris
  • Zoom
See Camera Data in the User Guide for more information.
Camera Direction (Advanced)
A sub-section of Camera Data, on the Advanced tab. See Camera Direction in the User Guide for more information.
Camera Name (Advanced)
A sub-section of Camera Data, on the Advanced tab. See Camera Name in the User Guide for more information.
Chief Scientist (Advanced)
The scientist in charge of the dive. A sub-section of Dive, on the Advanced tab. See Chief Scientist in the User Guide for more information.
Children (Basic)
A checkbox that extends a search from the name selected to the concept name one level below this name. For example, when searching for a genus name, selecting Children will extend the search to all species names within that genus.
Clear (Basic)
A button on the Basic tab that will clear all query entries that have been added.
constrain (Advanced)
Checkboxes for the selections on the Advanced query page. Check to limit results by narrowing the search down to specific terms or other parameters such as depth, time, chief scientist, etc.
CTD
The common name for a set of core data—conductivity, temperature, depth—measured by instruments on the ROV. These measurements generate the Physical Data values of Salinity, Temperature, and Depth. (Salinity is calculated from conductivity and temperature values.)
Date
See Observation Date or Recorded Date
Data tab (Results)
The tab on the Results window that displays the information returned by a query.
Depth (Advanced)
A sub-section of Physical Data, on the Advanced tab. See Depth in the User Guide for more information.
Descendants (Basic)
Extends search from the name selected to all names that exist in the knowledge base beneath this name. If you are  searching for a family name, select Descendants to extend the search to all genus and species names that exist in the knowledge base under the family name.
Dive (Advanced)
A section where details of a dive can be entered for the following items:
  • Chief Scientist
  • Dive End Date
  • Dive Number
  • Dive Start Date
  • ROV Name
  • Ship Name
See Dive in the User Guide for more information.
Dive Number (Advanced) 
A sub-section of Dive, on the Advanced tab. See Dive Number in the User Guide for more information.
Dive End Date (Advanced)
A sub-section of Dive, on the Advanced tab. See Dive End Date in the User Guide for more information.
Dive Start Date(Advanced)
A sub-section of Dive, on the Advanced tab. See Dive Start Date in the User Guide for more information.
fields
The columns that are presented in the Results table. The columns can be rearranged by selecting with the mouse and dragging to the left or right, then releasing.
Field Width (Advanced) 
A sub-section of Camera Data, on the Advanced tab. See Field Width in the User Guide for more information.
File name (Results>Save)
Enter a filename (with extension *.txt) to save search results.
Files of type (Results>Save)
On Save window, this information is currently "All Files *.*". Users are encouraged to save their files as *.txt files.
Focus  (Advanced)
A sub-section of Camera Data, on the Advanced tab. See Focus in the User Guide for more information.
Help 
See the User Guide.
Image (Results) 
A sub-section of Miscellaneous, on the Advanced tab. See Image in the User Guide for more information.
In Sequence (Advanced)
A sub-section of Observation, on the Advanced tab. See In Sequence in the User Guide for more information.
Iris (Advanced)
A sub-section of Camera Data, on the Advanced tab. See Iris in the User Guide for more information.
Knowledge base 
A dictionary of names created by MBARI and referenced by the video annotation interface and the VARS query to ensure consistent annotations. The names consist of marine organisms and geological features commonly seen in Monterey Bay and other regions where MBARI ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) have recorded video. The knowledge base contains terms for equipment attached to the ROVs or deployed by the ROVs for deep-sea experiments. In addition, it contains a number of associations or formats that annotators can use to describe the behavior, color, position, or appearance of an organism, geological feature, or piece of equipment.
Sample knowledge base entry
Latitude (Advanced)
A sub-section of Physical Data, on the Advanced tab. See Latitude in the User Guide for more information.
Link Name (Advanced-Association)
Used infrequently. Contact Video Lab staff.
Link Value (Advanced-Association) 
Used infrequently. Contact Video Lab staff.
Longitude (Advanced)
A sub-section of Physical Data, on the Advanced tab. See Longitude in the User Guide for more information
NIL
Entering NIL as a concept will return records of all concepts in the database except for what is filtered out by specified constraints. To avoid getting tied up by an overwhelming number of returns, NIL concept searches should only be done on a very limited time range, such as a few days. .
Notes (Advanced)
A sub-section of Observation, on the Advanced tab. See Notes in the User Guide for more information.
Observation Date (Advanced)
A sub-section of Observation, on the Advanced tab. See Observation Date in the User Guide for more information. This is the date that the video was annotated. It may, or may not, be the same as the recorded date.
Observer (Advanced-Observation)
A sub-section of Observation, on the Advanced tab. See Observer in the User Guide for more information. This is the name of the person who did the annotation.
Oxygen (Advanced-Physical Data)
A sub-section of Physical Data, on the Advanced tab. See Oxygen in the User Guide for more information.
Parent ( Basic) 
A checkbox that extends the search from the name selected to the concept name that is one level above this name. When searching on a genus name,  selecting this box will extend the search to the family name.
Query tab (Results)
Displays a summary of the query, depending on what items are checked for return on the Advanced tab.
Recorded Date (Advanced)
A sub-section of Observation, on the Advanced tab. See Recorded Date in the User Guide for more information. This is the date that the video was recorded. It may, or may not, have been annotated at that time. See Observation Date.
Remove (Basic)
A button on the Basic tab that will remove selected items from a query. Click one item to select it. To select a series of items, click the first one, and Shift-click the last one. To select several separated items, Control-click each one.
Results(Results)
Results are displayed in table format. Columns can be rearranged by selecting and dragging to new location. Multiple Results windows may be opened at one time. So when you return to the main VARS Query interface (Constraints) and initiate a new Search, a new Results window will be displayed.
return
Checkboxes for the selections on the Advanced query page. Check for each item desired on the query results listing.
ROV Name
A sub-section of Dive, on the Advanced tab. See ROV Name in the User Guide for more information.
Salinity (Advanced)
A sub-section of Physical Data, on the Advanced tab. See Salinity in the User Guide for more information. Salinity is calculated from conductivity and pressure values.
Save (Results )
Select to save search results and parameters in a text file. Results will be saved as a tab-delimited text file which can be opened in a word processing program or spreadsheet program for printing or further analysis. See Saving query results in the VARS Query User Guide for more information.
Search (big green arrow)
Click on this button to begin the search.
Search for (Basic)
In the Basic tab, a place to type in, or select with the drop-down list, a name from the knowledge base. The name can be an organism, geological feature, or piece of equipment.
Ship Name  (Advanced)
A sub-section of Dive, on the Advanced tab. See Ship Name in the User Guide for more information.
Siblings (Basic)
A checkbox which extends search from the name selected to the concept name that is at the same level as the selected name. When searching for a genus name, select this box to extend the search to other genus names within the same family.
Tape Time Code (Advanced) 
A sub-section of Observation, on the Advanced tab. See Tape Time Code in the User Guide for more information.
Temperature (Advanced)
A sub-section of Physical Data, on the Advanced tab. See Temperature in the User Guide for more information.
To Concept (Advanced)
Used infrequently. Contact Video Lab staff.
VARS 
Video Annotation and Reference System, an annotation software system developed in-house at MBARI.
VIMS 
Video Information Management System. Encompasses all programs relating to MBARI's video archive management.
Zoom (Advanced)
A sub-section of Camera Data, on the Advanced tab. See Zoom in the User Guide for more information.
 
Last updated: Feb. 06, 2009