SeaDataNet – Pan-European Infrastructure for Marine and Ocean Data Management: Unified Access to Distributed Data Sets

International Journal of Digital Earth, Volume 3, Issue S1 April 2010 , pages 50 – 69

Dick M. A. Schaap and Roy K. Lowry

“Data availability is of vital importance for marine and oceanographic research but most of the European data are fragmented, not always validated and not easily accessible. In the countries bordering the European seas, more than 1000 scientific laboratories from governmental organisations and private industry collect data using various sensors on board of research vessels, submarines, fixed and drifting platforms, aeroplanes and satellites to measure physical, geophysical, geological, biological and chemical parameters, biological species and others. SeaDataNet is an Integrated Research Infrastructure Initiative (I3) (2006-2011) in the EU FP6 framework programme. It is developing an efficient distributed Pan-European marine data management infrastructure for managing these large and diverse data sets. It is interconnecting the existing professional data centres of 35 countries, active in data collection and providing integrated databases of standardised quality on-line. This article describes the architecture and the features of the SeaDataNet infrastructure. In particular it describes the way interoperability is achieved between all the contributing data centres. Finally it highlights the on-going developments and challenges.”