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One Ocean, One EMODnet: The European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) launches its fully unified marine data service with major functionality upgrades.

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EMODnet centralisation

One Ocean, One EMODnet: The European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) launches its fully unified marine data service with major functionality upgrades.

For over a decade, more than 120 organisations involved in the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) have been working together to aggregate observations and data from various sources, process them according to international standards and make that information freely available as interoperable data layers and data products for re-user by others. This "collect once and use many times" philosophy benefits all marine data users, including policy makers, scientists, private industry and the public. It has been estimated that such an integrated marine data service creates great savings in cost and effort, improves the accuracy of marine research as well as opens up new opportunities for innovation and growth.

On 25 January 2023 EMODnet reached a new stage as it launched its fully centralised marine data service, integrating all of its thematic services into one single portal.

This thematic unification is a major upgrade, which simplifies access and enhances the EMODnet user experience. Central to the upgrade and major improvement is the release of the common map viewer, which offers the user easy and seamless access to discover, visualise and download marine data across seven thematics spanning marine environment and human activities and hundreds of data and data products from one place, powered by a searchable unified catalogue.

By providing a single-entry point to all EMODnet data, data products and services, the new portal offers services more suited to today’s data driven world and supports next generation ocean data and information management, as well as new technologies and approaches such as Artificial Intelligence.

“The unified EMODnet data service is a game-changer for users of in situ marine data, allowing seamless cross-border, cross-thematic data retrieval at the level required by marine managers and policy makers, the blue economy and private sector, the scientific research community and more.” says Andreea Strachinescu, Head of Unit at the European Commission DG MARE.

The centralisation of all EMODnet thematic data services under a single umbrella has been a long-term effort, facilitated by the European Commission Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE). It is a landmark achievement of the European ocean observing and marine data community and the result of more than a year of technical developments by EMODnet thematic experts and the EMODnet Central Portal team coordinated by the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) and the EMODnet Secretariat.

“EMODnet centralisation is a huge achievement for the full EMOD-network and for the European marine data space, resulting in a major upgrade in the interoperability of EMODnet marine data, and a milestone for EMODnet as a key backbone infrastructure to the future Digital Twin Ocean” explains Conor Delaney, Technical Coordinator, EMODnet Secretariat.

The move to one EMODnet Portal marks an end of the existing seven individual thematic portals which are now switched off, and redirect to the EMODnet Central Portal. From this point onwards, all users will be redirected to the Central Portal. The thematic networks and experts remain active, continuing to provide the harmonised datasets, data products and web-services upon which so many users depend.

With the centralisation, EMODnet further consolidates its role as the European operational service for in situ marine data, a valued partner in the European marine data ecosystem, and as a key regional contributor of interoperable data services and best practices to the global digital data commons.

“The unification of EMODnet services places EMODnet in a strong position to provide the marine data, information and knowledge needed by society to deliver on the objectives of the EU Mission ‘Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030’ and the wider goals of the EU Green Deal. In addition, the increased interoperability of EMODnet’s data services is crucial to continue expanding EMODnet’s contribution to international efforts including the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN Agenda 2030, and as a key partner to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.”
Jan-Bart Calewaert, Head, EMODnet Secretariat.

A public webinar demonstrating the upgraded EMODnet services will take place online on 16 February 2023, with registration open and free for all.

The EMODnet centralised data services will also be a focal point of the Open Sea Lab 3.0  taking place in March 2023.

Download the press release in PDF, and share it!