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Energy, Climate change, Environment

Data Information

Marine data sharing

The publication and sharing of marine data follows established best practice. The EU shares marine observation data through the EMODnet central web portal and ocean modelling data through the Copernicus Marine website. In general, European marine observation data originates with the Member States, and is aggregated by EMODnet for publication on the EMODnet Central Portal as a centralised hub for European marine data.

In China NMDIS is responsible for national marine data collection, management, processing and distribution, and the construction and operation of the marine environmental and geographical information service platform, undertaking quality control and evaluation of marine data and information products. In addition, it is responsible for operational tide and tidal current forecast, sea level change prediction and evaluation and development and release of marine environment data re-analysis products.

Optimising data sharing and user access between EMODnet and NMDIS – the Challenge

Marine observations are fundamentally geospatial in nature. An observation consists of measurements associated with any particular parameter (temperature for example) at a location for a certain time. Each component of the observation can vary depending on standards used, for example:

  • Temperature, Fahrenheit, Celsius and Kelvin are all valid measurements.
  • Time can vary depending on local sunrise and sunset.
  • Location description can be depending on the geospatial grid being used to describe the Earth.

Science can address some of these problems, for example, through the development of standardised units for measurement and by recording a universal time. Also, in general the World Geodetic System (WGS84) is used as the reference coordinate system, but not always, and the geographic coordinate system (datum and projection) will vary depending on the region in the world, and also on the area being mapped).

The necessity to share scientific quality environmental data online for the support of research, policy formulation and implementation and others, has led to the realisation that observations need to be annotated by metadata (data that describes data), to provide more context to the observations. For example, who made the observation, what were the general weather conditions or what datum was the observation location made against.

With EMODnet, EU has gained considerable experience over the past decade with providing users access to a wide range of multidisciplinary datasets at European level by fostering interoperability of data collected and stored by different countries, institutes and thematic and regional data assembly initiatives. In this project, we will be looking at ways to optimise data sharing and user access between EMODnet and NMDIS. In particular it will look at ways to improve interoperability between EMDOnet geodata servers and NMDIS geodata servers. For example, part of this project we will examine the suitability of the following aspects facilitating the exchange and interoperability of data from different sources:

  • Open Geospatial Consortium web services.
  • Metadata standards
  • File format standards.

The project will deliver a searchable catalogue of EMODnet and NMDIS data that can be either downloaded or displayed in a web map. This catalogue will exit in duplicate on both the EMODnet Central Portal and NMDIS portal.