Maritime forum

MARE/2008/03 lot 1 EMODnet hydrography - final report and conclusions

Published on: Sun, 23/09/2012 - 18:48


  • Overall cooperation from data providers has been satisfactory to good. Up till August 2012 more than 8400 bathymetric survey datasets, managed by 14 data centres from 9 countries and originated from 118 institutes, have been collated and used in the EMODNet Hydrography and Seabed Mapping projects for analysing and generating the EMODNet digital bathymetry.
  • Data providers in bathymetry generally do not want to give open access but welcome the SeaDataNet based concept, that their datasets are advertised by public metadata and internally used for public data products while they keep control themselves over the actual data access.
  • In a number of cases internal data sharing was not possible but an alternative was found by sharing composite DTMs prepared by data providers.
  • The spatial and temporal coverage of gathered datasets for the European maritime regions is being analysed in deep in the EMODNet Seabed Mapping project. As a preliminary conclusion it can be said that many parts of the European waters have not been surveyed at all or at least not by modern techniques.
  • SeaDataNet standards for metadata, data, data product and vocabularies have been applied with success for rendering all consistent.
  • More high resolution multibeam survey datasets should become available including sufficient documentation about e.g. positioning accuracy, tidal corrections, etc for producing a really contiguous digital bathymetry with a common high quality.
  • The grid resolution of the digital bathymetry at present is 0.25 minutes by 0.25 minutes. The grid resolution is considered as useful. However for further use in applications such as habitat mapping, numerical oceanographic prediction models etc it appears that a higher resolution would be preferred.
  • Users bring forward that not all areas require a common high resolution grid. In shallow areas the requirements for a high resolution grid are much stronger than in deep oceans.
  • The Hydrography portal and its distributed services are continuously monitored and procedures are in place to guarantee a 24 hour 7 day a week operational performance.
  • The EMODNet approach with thematic portals for specific disciplines and communities and with EMODNet concertation meetings together with MODEG experts is considered as very useful and effective. This way many potential players from a given discipline or theme can be engaged for their own specialism and interest, while the interoperability and cohesion between the thematic portals is achieved by using common standards from OGC for viewing services and SeadataNet for data discovery and access services and semantic interoperability.
  • The number of visitors of the EMODNet Hydrography portal is gradually increasing. It is visited nowadays by circa 500 - 600 users per month that visit on average 25 pages of the website. Also the number of downloads of the DTM tiles is gradually increasing andnumbers nowadays circa 40 per month. These statistics are still relatively low and should be increased.
  • Therefore a central EMODNet promotion campaign should be undertaken. It can be considered also to establish an overall EMODNet portal that can serve as central domain in the overall promotion. However that portal should guide users to the thematic portals for specific thematic functions and details and not try to take over everything at a common top level. The shared WMS services and shared CDI and Data Products services could be common elements at the top domain, but more in depth queries should be performed by the underlying thematic portals.
  • More EMODNet development projects are required to go ''wider'' and ''deeper''. This will encourage more data providers to come forward for data sharing and participating in the process of making complete overviews and homogeneous data products.
  • Further RTD work will and must continue on standards and protocols that can be applied as basis for the EMODNet portals. For example SeaDataNet II is continuing for another 4 year and this looks into establishing common marine standards for using sensorML, handling biological data, developing generic viewing services, achieving full INSPIRE compliance etc. EMODNet stimulates a wider implementation and adoption of these standards by more data holding organisations.