Last modified 3 weeks ago Last modified on 09/27/17 14:48:36

SIS UI Tips and Tricks (TnT) Archive

SIS TnT #1: Finding the SIS Help Pages

The Station Information System (SIS) Developers have been working hard getting a great flexible system in place, but appreciate that you might not have a lot of time to devote to learn your way around the UI.

Maybe you could handle a bite-sized piece from time to time? This is the aim of SIS TIPS and TRICKS (SIS TnT), a periodic email sent to the anss-sis list that will both address your informational needs and keep in mind your schedule, while leading you to become a true SIS POWER USER.


Inside the SIS UI, if you need HELP, check out the “SIS HELP/WIKI” link at the upper right of EVERY SIS PAGE, whether in production or test.


Here’s a typical page in SIS:

That’s it! Power is yours, as now you can reach SIS's Glossary, the FAQ, the User Training Instructions, and all sorts of other information. You can also e-mail us if your question isn’t answered in those pages.

SIS TnT #2: That Blue Filter Bar is your Friend

Inside the SIS UI, look for opportunities to use the BLUE FILTER BAR to find things or generate useful lists. Whether you are looking for models, equipment, or sites, in your Operating domain or across several Operators’ inventories, the Blue Filter Bar can be a big help.


For example, say you want to list all seismic sites for NCSN and BDSN… starting from SIS Home…

Most high-level pages like Models, Equipment, and Sites offer you the Blue Filter Bar to search or create lists. Try it out next time!

Not quite the search you need? E-mail us at if you have more questions or need some help.

SIS TnT #3: Using the "Find Site" and "Find Equipment" boxes

If you are new to SIS, you should be aware of the best ways to get to the information you need. It all starts on the SIS home page that is displayed after you authenticate. Use the "Find” tools to get to the sites and equipment you are looking for.


Say you want to navigate to a seismic station called CRS — we're leaving off the network code to demonstrate how you don’t need it, even if there’s another station “CRS” in another network. So starting from SIS Home, go to the Find Site box

In most cases, you will go directly to your Station. In the rare case where some other network uses the same Station code, you get a choice of the different Stations with that name.

Voilà! Your chosen Station appears.

By the way, there is a similar fast track way to get to your Equipment, too…

Back at the SIS Home Page, scroll a little farther to the Find Equipment box. Maybe you only remember a portion of your equipment serial number:

A list of equipment pieces containing that partial serial number (from all the Operator groups) will appear. Click the number to reach that particular Equipment page.

So next time you login to SIS, try out the Find boxes — it will save you time!

SIS TnT #4: The Place to Be is the Place Detail page

Whether you are an old hand with SIS or you are just migrating your data into SIS, you should be aware of some basic features of the landscape, like all you can see via the Place Detail page.

  • What’s a “Place”? Any type of site (seismic, GPS, waypoint) is located at a particular Place and often shares the Place with other “co-located” sites.
  • Example: If you go to the station CI.BOM and click “Site Header Detail,” you see “Place Name = Bombay Beach” in the resulting table. Click on “Bombay Beach," and you’ll see its “Place Detail page” that lists all sites at or near Bombay Beach, and a map of sites co-located with CI.BOM.


From the SIS home page (, search for “BOM”:

This will bring you to site CI.BOM
In the lower left, click the “Site Header Detail” bar

In the resulting table, see “Place Name” identified as “Bombay Beach”
Click “Bombay Beach”

You’re now at Bombay Beach's Place Detail page (below).
Note the list of “Sites At This Place” that shows 3 sites. On the map, however, you can see CI.BOMG (with CI.BOM just behind CI.BOMG) but not CI.BBB — unless you click “Toggle Inactive Sites"

Once you click “Toggle Inactive Sites”, the site CI.BBB appears on the map

If you are interested in trying out those map buttons, visit the list of all SIS Place Detail pages and check some out!

SIS TnT #5: Your Metadata, Reporting for Duty!

Once your metadata and equipment are in SIS, you may want to run a number of reports on this information. 

Many of SIS’s overview pages generate “report”-like data in columns automatically. 

  • For example, for all Cell Modems for your Operator — found at Home > Equipment Section Index > Categories > Cellular Modem > Active Equipment Settings — you find a comprehensive report on those Cell Modems with over 20 columns of info.
  • But perhaps you want to zero in on a particular subset. What you need is to use one of the Blue Bar Filters (talked about in TnT2: The Blue Bar) to pare down those massive results! 


From the SIS home page, click “Equipment” at the top-center links, then on next page, click “Equipment Categories”:

In this example we’ll choose the Cellular Modem category under Equipment:

You then see a ready-made report (below), but it has a lot of columns you might not need. 

Here’s where a Blue Bar — in this case, the "Select Columns" blue bar — comes in handy:

You are presented with the default columns in the ready-made report

Now you can choose your desired columns. 
Note that if you are not going to use the default “Sort” column, you must change it to a column you are using/keeping.

After clicking “Submit” you might have to scroll a little to see the resulting report.
Here’s a sampling of the results:

Hopefully you can see the possibilities of getting some very useful information in this way!

SIS TnT #6: Finding Out Who Did What, When, in SIS

At some point you might find the need to ferret out what actions recently occurred at a site you manage.

Good News: There’s a SIS page for that! In fact, there are a few.

You could check the following:

  • Your site's Last Site Log tab, which captures any field action change, whether involving seismic equipment or not.
  • The Install Date on your site's Current Equipment tab. From this, you could infer when and what changes were made.
  • The User Actions Log ( that lists all activity on SIS. While this covers all SIS users from all networks, you can use your browser’s Find command (e.g., Ctrl-F or Cmd-F) to search for a relevant keyword like your site code, the equipment serial number you are trying to track, or the username of the field tech involved.


From the SIS home page, enter your site’s lookup code and hit “Enter” or click “Go." Here we will navigate to the site “PTD”:

At PTD, we’re looking for the most recent site action. You can click on the “Last Site Log” tab:

Or you can check the equipment install dates, from the same site page, in the “Current Equipment” tab:

Lastly, you can check the “User Action Logs” by clicking the “Users” link from any SIS page, at the top-center navigation...

…then click “User Action Logs.”

Now use your browser’s key-word search command (Ctrl-F or Cmd-F), to find your site, equipment serial number, field engineer username, or other search parameter.
You might have to scroll down and click the next page, and search again.

Here we used an equipment’s serial number, to find out when it was swapped or otherwise used recently:

So ferret away and you will find what you need!

More to come - stay tuned!