AtlantOS is a four year, 20 million euro Horizon 2020 research and innovation project working towards the integration of ocean observing activities across all disciplines for the Atlantic, considering European as well as non-European partners. The recently published third AtlantOS newsletter focusses on how the project contributes to the enhancement and optimization of harmonization, and to the integration of Atlantic Ocean observing data. Several partners and coordinators of the European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) actively contribute to the AtlantOS work on “Data flow and data integration” (WP7).
The newsletter highlights the importance of modern data management infrastructures along the entire marine data/knowledge pipeline as a prerequisite to achieve interoperability. This is necessary to ensure that essential data are collected, retained and made accessible for analysis and application for users. Well-founded data management systems are also of vital importance for the Ocean Observing System in order to avoid delayed and duplicate data receipts, versioning issues, missing data and metadata, and non-documented data processing procedures.
Through its efforts in WP7, AtlantOS seeks to move towards an integrated data system that harmonizes work flows, data processing and distribution across the in-situ observing network systems from AtlantOS observing system work packages to existing European and international data infrastructures and portals termed Integrators (e.g. Copernicus in situ thematic assembly centre or INS TAC, SeaDataNet network of national oceanographic data centres or NODCs, EMODnet, ICES, EurOBIS, GEOSS).
An important driver within AtlantOS is to ensure that data from different and diverse in-situ observing networks are readily accessible and useable to the wider community, including international ocean science communities and other stakeholders in this field. AtlantOS marine data specialists have therefore been working with data networks and integrators in Europe to improve harmonization of Atlantic Ocean data and to facilitate improved interoperability. To this end, a continuous process has been developed starting with a minimum set of recommendations agreed on data interoperability, followed by the enhancement of network Data Systems and the upgrade of existing integrators to better serve networks and users, finalizing with the set-up of a data exchange backbone to ease discovery, viewing and downloading by users.
Building on existing infrastructures that will last after the end of the AtlantOS project, the project has moved forward on the implementation of the FAIR principles (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Re-Usable) for Atlantic observations, through a ‘system of data management systems’ where all ocean observations are made available to users on a free and unrestricted basis, ensuring full and open exchange of data, metadata and products at minimum time delay.
AtlantOS WP7 has initiated discussions and collaborations on Atlantic Ocean Data Integration, which may continue long into the future. Furthermore, the same work package launched an Integrated Data portal with a catalogue tool that provides users with a discovery service of the networks, integrators and products related to Atlantic Ocean observation data. The tool also facilitates access to services of the existing data systems. These systems are being enhanced to ingest and deliver more in-situ observation data on the Atlantic Ocean and to better serve users in a harmonized way across the systems.