MEDIN's quarterly e-newsletter:  Marine Data News
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November 2013 - Issue 25

Navigating Oceans of Data with MEDIN:

An Open meeting for present and prospective partners.
Monday 11th Nov, London

An on-line mapping tool for marine planning in Scotland

by Martyn Cox - Marine Scotland

Marine Scotland has new responsibilities to deliver marine planning for Scotland’s seas on behalf of Scottish Ministers.  National Marine Plan interactive (NMPi) is Marine Scotland’s key tool for sharing the data with stakeholders. Marine Scotland interactive complements NMPi through the provision of data for many marine themes but not the mapping functionality.

As many will know, Scotland’s first national marine plan is under development: consultation started in July 2013. Consultation is also underway on designating marine protected areas and identifying areas for marine renewable energy.
Scotland’s Marine Atlas, published in 2011 was the “Information for the National Marine Plan” but that was only a snapshot in time.  Marine planning requires a significant and robust on-going evidence base.  National Marine Plan interactive (NMPi) is Marine Scotland’s key tool for sharing the data with stakeholders. Marine Scotland interactive complements NMPi through the provision of data for many marine themes but not the mapping functionality.  
What is NMPi?
NMPi is an online, interactive GIS-based tool (using GeoServer and Open Layers software) allowing you to view different map layers at a scale of your choice.
Associated web pages have additional information and links (to related parts of the Atlas; data sources; links to other sources; and, where appropriate, downloadable spread sheets to update the graphs presented in the Atlas).
Data are presented in layers and grouped into the various aspects of the Government’s vision for the seas - clean and safe seas; healthy and biologically diverse seas; productive seas; as well as background layers on physical characteristics and administrative boundaries.

NMPi screen shot with proposed marine protected areas (conservation and historic), renewables areas (wind, wave and tidal) and sailing routes.

All users have access to
·         Data display - geographic information through a web-map interface, with a map canvas, a switchable list of layers, and various tools.
·         Links to associated web pages.
·         NMPi’s “web map services” using client software.
·         A dedicated version for browsers on mobile devices (SmartPhones and iPADs).

Registered users (free to do so) can access additional functionality:
·         Create maps for printing.
·         Develop their own data layers.
·         Download certain data (subject to a licence agreement).
New content is being added to NMPi on an on-going basis, while existing content is also being updated.

Layer Control box to show the structure based on our vision for the seas, with the Productive Seas section enlarged
Collaborative working
Marine Scotland is again working closely with its Atlas partners Scottish Natural HeritageJoint Nature Conservation CommitteeScottish Environment Protection Agency and the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology Scotland in keeping data sets updated on NMPi.
At present there are in excess of 200 data layers and this looks set to expand.  NMPi is the next stage in Marine Scotland’s innovations. It follows the successful Atlas and the later e-publication (for iPads and Kindles etc), that was launched in March.
NMPi is an innovative tool to assist Marine Scotland in its delivery of marine planning. It will support policy making as use of the seas changes, whether that is for sustainable economic growth through a variety of human activities or conservation through the designation of marine protected areas.

Outcome of independant review of MEDIN

In April 2013, an independent Review Panel was established, to review the progress that has been made towards MEDIN's original objectives and to make recommendations on its future direction.

Review panel:
Taco de Bruin (NIOZ Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research)
Colin Grant (BP Exploration)  
Neil Holdsworth (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea)

MEDIN was established in 2008 with the objective to “improve access to, and management of, UK marine data and information” and supports the work under the UK Marine Science Strategy being guided by the Marine Science Coordination Committee. A series of objectives were set by the MEDIN sponsors in 2008 for the first 5 years of MEDIN operation.

  1. The Review Panel, considering the progress made by MEDIN on all its objectives, firmly concludes that the MEDIN initiative has been, and continues to be, a sound investment in UK marine data infrastructure.
  2. It therefore invites the MEDIN sponsors to continue their support of MEDIN, and urges the sponsors to provide sufficient funding in order that MEDIN will be able to deliver the benefits of its unified UK approach to marine data access and management.
In particular, the Review Panel noted with satisfaction that:
  • MEDIN is making data more widely available in the UK marine domain through enabling their discovery;
  • MEDIN is highlighting and facilitating data management issues and standards and the related resources within individual organisations and that this has led to improvement in practices;
  • The distributed structure with DACs, all linked to a central portal with a solid management organisation maintaining it, is a good approach to dealing with diverse organisations and data management cultures.
  • MEDIN creates a (positive) pressure to conform to data standards.
MEDIN welcomes these positive conclusions and takes from them that the current organisational structure (in terms of Work streams, and arrangements for Exec Team, Sponsors’ Board and reporting for MEDIN) are fit for purpose and do not require any significant change.

The full report is available for download here (pdf 250KB)

For further details, or if you have any queries about the review, please contact MEDIN.

MEDIN reference layers catalogue

MEDIN has launched a Reference Layers catalogue to assit users in finding commonly required marine reference layers.  These layers provide a real world context in the form of a marine ‘base map’.

Reference layers can describe an activity or use, or represent a natural or human phenomenon. Often the creation of reference layers is the result of merging many datasets into a single consistent data ‘layer’, either as part of a discrete project or ongoing maintenance regime. Project-based and maintained datasets are included here. 


reference layers
Click here star

All of the reference layers have a metadata record, meaning they can be discovered in the portal. MEDIN aims to encourage well maintained reference layers that are easy to access and use. More information on reference layers and details on how MEDIN intends to achieve this aim are included in the library of work stream documents under ‘Resource and Applications’
Please contact MEDIN with comments or if you would like to participate in the Resources and Applications Working Group.

Copyright © 2013 MEDIN - Marine Environmental Data and Information Network, All rights reserved.

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