Re: Feedback on PEMdata and Climate Notebook

Rachael Arenstein

The PEM2 and its associated software programs are terrific tools for general environmental monitoring. It is always nice to hear from colleagues that they are happy with a particular product and I can attest to the PEM and PEM2’s wide use in museums and cultural institutions. There are lots of dataloggers out there that whose hardware will do the job. What really sets the PEM2 apart is the software. IPI has focused on creating tools that ideally reduce the time you take in collecting data so that you can spend more time with their “preservation metrics” which should help you understand your environment and then use the data to make appropriate modifications.

The Climate Notebook software was IPI’s first software tool developed for the original PEM logger. While you can use it for the PEM2, they created the website as the next generation tool and so I wouldn’t necessarily invest in the original disk. While the pemdata site is currently free, they have been anticipating that some time in 2012 they will release their newest software (a sort of e-Climate Notebook) which will also be web-based but will have a subscription model. The pricing will depend on the number of data sets and the type of analytical tools i.e. free for smaller institutions but costing something for power users. They have been talking about this for some time and it hasn’t actually happened yet, but I would encourage you to contact IPI directly to ask about what the future software options will be.

I recently finished an update of the National Park Service Conserve-O-Gram that I wrote about 10 years ago on Choosing a Datalogger for Museum Monitoring (#3/3 While the update is being finalized I have slowly been putting the draft content up on the AIC wiki site I want to emphasize that the PEM2 is an excellent logger but it is important to assess what you are trying to do in your institution and then match those criteria with the right product. Hopefully the text gives an idea of what to consider and how to evaluate some of the common loggers.

You can test drive the pemdata website with test data and view the various web clips and other information. I’d encourage you to explore the site.