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Marine Data News Issue 44
April 2020
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In this issue of Marine Data News...
New Environmental Monitoring Systems at Two Key Ghana Ports

OceanWise has recently been involved in a project with Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) - dubbed as "the trade and logistics hub of Western Africa".  The project involved installing a comprehensive environmental monitoring system at two key GPHA ports: Tema and Takoradi.

The tide and weather system is designed to deliver essential real-time tide and weather data to the GPHA operators, hydrographers and pilots who will rely on the data to make important operational decisions and ensure safety at the port.  The data from the tide and weather stations is collected, managed and published in the OceanWise data publishing platform Port-Log which delivers reliable, secure data to those who need it, when they need it. 

 Image above: OceanWise field engineer working on installations at Tema Port

Not only do the tide gauges provide data to GPHA, they also form part of the GLOSS network (Global Sea Level Observing System). GLOSS was established by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO in 1985 to establish a well-designed, high-quality in situ sea level observing network to support a broad research and operational user base. The two tide gauges at Tema and Takoradi are part of over 300 gauges that make up this important data network.

Following a successful visit by GPHA to the UK, the fully tested system which included two tide and weather stations, was shipped to Ghana where two OceanWise field engineers then installed the equipment, trained the local teams and oversaw the integration of the equipment and data into GPHA's existing systems.  The site visit included establishing a network of benchmarks, with the aim of being able to tie the new data to one of the longest sea level datasets in Africa dating back to the 1920s. 

Above image source https://www.ghanaports.gov.gh/

Yirenkyi Koranteng (Isaac), Port Hydrographer for GPHA comments: We were pleased that OceanWise were able to deliver an operational system which is also contributing to global sea level measurement.  OceanWise’s experience of working with many ports is helping GPHA deliver our goals and this is much appreciated.

This project is just one of the many improvements that GPHA are making and goes some way to helping them achieve their visions which include "reducing the cost of trade, providing and maintaining efficient modern Port facilities, aiding in regional development and providing and maintaining safe and secure sea ports for the nation and sub region".

With 85% of Ghana’s trade arriving and departing via the ports. it's clear that they represent a very important part of the country’s infrastructure and OceanWise are very proud to have been a part of this important project, alongside UK’s National Oceanography Centre (NOC).

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Google has Officially Launched Dataset Search 

This article aims to inform the UK marine community that Google has officially launched its dataset search, a service that enables searches for millions of different publicly available datasets.

Google dataset search officially came out of beta on the 23rd of January this year and it was first launched in September 2018. It is not a repository that stores datasets, rather it is a dataset search service. To become discoverable via dataset search, datasets have to be published as structured data on the web, marked-up by schema.org or other metadata standards like DCAT (Data Catalogue Vocabulary), using json-LD (JavaScript Object Notation-Linked Data), RDF-a (Resource Description Framework) or Microdata syntaxes. The purpose of this mark-up is to improve discovery of datasets from fields such as life sciences, social sciences, machine learning, civic and government data, and more. AI and machine learning developers can greatly benefit from this launch to easily locate and access datasets for training and testing their algorithms. But dataset search can also be used for anything from scientific research to learning more about your favourite hobby.

The British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) has implemented the required annotations using jsonLD and schema.org to include part of their data holdings in Google dataset search.

With this release, Google launched a mobile version and added a few filters on updated date, download format, usage rights and free to access datasets. If a dataset is about a geographic area, a map is displayed. Google is committed to keep improving the newly launched product, although it is now officially out of beta.

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EMODnet Data Ingestion

The EMODnet Data Ingestion projects aim at streamlining the data ingestion process so that data holders from research, public and private sectors which are not yet connected to existing marine data management infrastructures can easily release their data for safekeeping and subsequent distribution through EMODnet. This will enrich the open data available for many users and conform to the EMODnet motto 'collect data once and use it many times' – adapted from our own MEDIN strapline!

The first phase of the EMODnet Data Ingestion project finished in May 2019 and EMODnet Ingestion 2 began in October 2019. Data providers from across Europe can submit their data through the central EMODnet Ingestion Portal. Each data submission is assigned to a data centre to complete the metadata. These completed submissions are then published openly with their data packages ‘as is’ in the View Submissions service of the portal, where users can search, browse and download the data packages. Since October 2019 the number of published data submissions has increased from by 50 to 600, with almost 250 datasets being ingested at data centres and made available to national, European and EMODnet thematic portals..

MEDIN participates in EMODnet Data Ingestion through two of the MEDIN DACs (BGS and NOC-BODC), and for this second project they are joined by JNCC as representative of the EMODnet Seabed Habitats thematic portal. These Data Ingestion projects have similar aims to MEDIN and we can use them to increase the data available through the MEDIN and individual data centre portals in addition to through European data infrastructures.
Image left ©The Crown Estate 
 
Image above ©The Crown Estate

The UK has submitted over 30 datasets to EMODnet Data Ingestion; these originate from The Crown Estate’s Marine Data Exchange, Marine Scotland Science, Cefas (with data originating from MCA/UKHO and the Civil Hydrography Programme) and the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS). Almost all of these have been finalised and are available through the EMODnet Data Ingestion portal and elsewhere.

MEDIN has promoted EMODnet Data Ingestion on various occasions and recently co-hosted, with NOC-BODC, an EU INTERREG COMPASS (Collaborative Oceanography and Monitoring for Protected Areas and SpecieS) project data management meeting, which should result in some data submissions to EMODnet.

For the future, if your organisation holds any marine datasets which you would like to release to EMODnet and the MEDIN DACs, we would like to hear from you and we can assist in your dataset submission (Contacts: enquiries@bodc.ac.uk or offshoredata@bgs.ac.uk).

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Bangladesh Inland Waterways Benefit from UK Environmental Monitoring Data Platform

OceanWise was contracted recently by Next Generation Graphics Ltd (NGGL) working for the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA). Established in 1958, BIWTA controls, manages and develops the inland water transport capacity of Bangladesh. NGGL was chosen to supply, install and maintain water level gauges at 53 locations across the inland waterways network including tidal and non-tidal waters. OceanWise was selected to provide the data telemetry, management and visualisation components for the project.

‘Port-Log’, OceanWise’s commercial off-the-shelf environmental monitoring platform, was installed at BIWTA’s offices in Dhaka and is being used to collect, manage and display the data collected from the extensive network of tide gauges. Port-Log is already widely used in the UK and overseas and is particularly popular across the Ports, Harbours and Energy sectors. This project extended Port-Log’s capability to include non-tidal waters. OceanWise also provided consultancy and advice to the project team on sensors, station location, and data acquisition and management.

Image above: Courtesy of BIWTA – Dredging inspection works 

As part of the project, eight senior members of BIWTA attended a training course in the UK, which included core elements in data management and Port-Log administration, plus guidance on successfully setting up a complete sensor network, including geodetic levelling, sensor calibration, data analysis, data interpretation etc. Training was also provided by Dr Steve Taylor of Geomatix on ‘GeoTide’, which was supplied by OceanWise to provide BIWTA with a tidal analysis and prediction capability for its coastal sites. 

A K M Mazibur Rahman, Director of Planning at BIWTA commented "BIWTA decided on Port-Log because it was the best system we had looked at.  We have been delighted with our decision and are pleased how well the project has proceeded.  We also appreciate all the support and expertise that OceanWise has provided to NGGL throughout the project and the professionalism and hospitality shown to our personnel during the training course". 

Bangladesh is the eighth most populous country in the world, home to nearly 163 million people. The waterways, along with the seaports, make-up a key part of the country’s infrastructure providing important logistic and transportation routes across the country. The country boasts numerous rivers and inland waterways which provide the dominant geographic feature of Bangladesh including the Ganges delta, as well as the combined waters of several other river systems, including the Brahmaputra and Ganges rivers which flow into the Bay of Bengal.

OceanWise’s Managing Director, Dr Mike Osborne, explained: “We were delighted to have been chosen by BIWTA for this important project and have been impressed by how the NGGL and OceanWise project teams have worked together in all aspects of the work.  Port-Log provides a comprehensive and scalable platform that will act as a foundation for BIWTA’s environmental monitoring, survey and operational requirements long into the future”.

About OceanWise:

OceanWise Ltd is an independent company specialising in all aspects of marine environmental data acquisition, data and knowledge management and GIS providing customers with comprehensive and cost effective end-to-end marine and coastal data management and decision support including:

  • Intelligent Marine Mapping (Raster Charts, Raster Charts XL, Marine Themes and Marine Themes DEM)
  • Marine Data Management Policy and Strategy Advice and Training
  • Enterprise GIS and Productivity Tools (Maritime Toolbar and Workflow Extensions)
  • Environmental Data Sharing and Publishing (Ocean Database and Port-Log.net)

For more information about OceanWise, please contact Ms Katie Eades, Marketing Manager at katie.eades@oceanwise.eu or visit www.oceanwise.eu.

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State of Play of Meteorological and Oceanography Observations from Ships of Opportunity

Ships' meteorological observations are recognised as being essential for the provision of safety-related services for ships at sea, marine pollution prevention and climate change studies. Additionally, ships can be used to fulfil upper ocean data requirements to address both scientific and operational goals to contribute to building a sustained ocean observing system. Ship-based meteorological and oceanographic reports are often the only data available from data-sparse areas.

There are two principal schemes falling within the remit of Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology Ship Observations Team – The Voluntary Observing Ship Scheme- to take, record and transmit marine meteorological and oceanographic observations while at sea and the Ship of Opportunity Program - to fulfil upper ocean data requirements.  Additionally, other scientific programmes use ships of opportunity to gather data such as Ferrybox and the Continuous Plankton Recorder survey.
Recent meetings such as the IMO-WMO international symposium on extreme maritime weather and the Ocean Obs Research Coordination Network (RCN) have recognised the need to try and encourage more ships to become involved in voluntary observing schemes. One of the actions arising from these meetings was to try and determine the barriers facing the commercial shipping fleet in undertaken measurements and to see what actions can be undertaken to increase engagement.
 
The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology are seeking to hear from organisations who would be happy to support a piece of work in this area. Please contact Dr Bev Mackenzie on technical@imarest.org
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More Events!

MEDIN Workshops for 2020 

The MEDIN core team are all working from home during COVID-19 lockdown

Work on the MEDIN discovery metadata standards and data guidelines is progressing as usual. The one piece of work that cannot go ahead as usual is the MEDIN Workshops. Due to the nationwide lockdown, and for the health and safety of staff and attendees, we have postponed all planned workshops for this year until further notice. But don’t panic! We are investigating the use of Zoom to deliver a series of seminar presentations on MEDIN, discovery metadata, and controlled vocabularies, and walk-throughs of MEDIN’s tools and data guidelines. Keep an eye on the MEDIN website and twitter page for updates, or email Roseanna (roswri@bodc.ac.uk) if you would like to receive an email about the upcoming remote workshops once a schedule has been decided.

Introduction to Coastal & Marine GIS

21 – 23 April 2020
7 – 9 July 2020
13 – 15 October 2020
Highfield Campus, Southampton

Delivered by ABPmer’s experienced GIS consultants and GeoData’s GIS trainers, this three-day course uses case studies and hands-on activities to show how marine and coastal datasets support decision-making. 

Using ArcGIS v10.x, the course is structured around 11 modules that cover various GIS concepts and techniques.  As well as introducing marine data and GIS, the course considers common problems faced when mapping coastal and offshore environments.  There is also an opportunity to discuss with experts specific spatial data issues.

At the end of the course you will know and understand:

  • what GIS is, what spatial data is, raster and vector data models
  • the core tasks involved in GIS analysis including acquisition, storage, management, manipulation and presentation
  • the core functionality of ArcMap, ArcCatalog and the embedded ArcToolbox
  • how to import data and handle tables
  • georeferencing raster images
  • the creation and editing of spatial data
  • basic geoprocessing tasks
  • ModelBuilder basics 

Validated under the Association for Geographic Information CPD scheme and the GIS Certification Institute GIS Professional (GISP) Award. 

GeoData, University of Southampton, is a fully accredited RGS-IBG CPD Provider.

Fee: £695 (no VAT)

For more information, contact Oliver Ringwood at ABPmer: 02380 711 869, oliver.ringwood@abpmer.co.uk  

To book, visit the GeoData website [http://www.geodata.soton.ac.uk/geodata/training/Courses]

 
News
Job Available at Natural Resources Wales

Post Advisor 2, Data Service  (Data management and cataloguing)
Closing date 11th May
https://naturalresources.wales/about-us/jobs-and-placements/jobs/201250-advisor-2-data-services/?lang=en
 

Do you want to make a long-term difference to the people and places of Wales? Are you passionate about protecting the environment by ensuring NRW has high quality environmental data and information available to support the sustainable management of the Welsh Environment?

As an advisor in the Data Service team, you will be responsible for maintaining several data and information catalogues, including our data holdings on the National Biodiversity Network Atlas (NBNAtlas).  With excellent IT literacy, you will be providing support for NRWs open data and developing skills in data standards and markup languages, such as XML.
We are looking for someone with an enthusiasm for environmental data who prides themselves on their attention to detail and organisation skills.  You will communicate this enthusiasm for data management through advice and support to specialists across the whole organisation and as a result, and will gain opportunities to learn about their work and data, and see this data in action
You will work in a small but friendly team and be a flexible team player, willing to get involved with work across the whole Knowledge Information Group.
If this sounds like you – apply now!
***********************************************************

NRW Job Available
Post Advisor, Data Services Team  (Data Licensing)
Closing date 11th May
https://naturalresources.wales/about-us/jobs-and-placements/jobs/job-listing-page/?lang=en
 
Job Purpose
Do you want to make a long-term difference to the people and places of Wales? Are you passionate about protecting the environment by ensuring NRW has high quality environmental data and information available to support the sustainable management of the Welsh Environment.
As an advisor in the Data Service team, you will be responsible for defining restrictions and conditions for re-use across a wide range of datasets and will oversee and coordinate the acquisition of third party data held by NRW. You will have an ability to understand and digest data legislation and legal documents and communicate this to a wider audience.
We are looking for someone with strong communication, negotiating and influencing skills who has an enthusiasm for environmental data.  You will communicate this enthusiasm for data management through advice and support for staff across the whole organisation and with external partners that NRW want to work with.  As a result you will gain opportunities to learn about their work and data in action.
You will work in a small but friendly team and be a flexible team player, willing to get involved with work across the whole Knowledge Information Group.
If this sounds like you – apply now!
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