The purpose of the checkpoints is to audit the value of marine data services to solve particular commercial and policy challenges with the development of the Blue Economy. With increasing number of public marine data sources available, principally through initiatives such as EMODnet and Copernicus it is timely both to (a) support users in finding the right data products to solve their particular challenges and (b) examine how existing data services should be improved; including the content they offer and the way the service is delivered.
Data Sources and Methodology
The North Sea checkpoint considers seven challenges of importance to the Blue Economy in the North Sea basin. These are:
- Windfarm siting
- Marine protected areas
- Oil platform leak
- Climate and coastal protection
- Fisheries management
- Marine environmental management
- River inputs to the coastal environment
For each challenge a screening is undertaken to identify the data suitable to meet the challenge and an adequacy report produced on the data in actually solving the challenge. This adequacy report considers both the utility of the available data, but also what data gaps were found to exist. To present this information concisely to users, a star-rating system was used whereby the data are scored against ‘value criteria’ such as the temporal and spatial coverage of the data, delivery, usability and contractual terms. These star ratings are given in the context of the challenge being addressed, hence the value of a data product will vary across challenges.
Data Products and Services
The North Sea checkpoint focuses on matching existing data services to solve particular challenges. It does not deliver data itself, but supports users in making explicit the value of data in solving these challenges. In this way users can understand if they are embarking on a similar or related challenge whether adequate data is available – and where to get it.
The key service the checkpoint provides is a star rating of the data considered for each of the challenges and a supporting report that provides a descriptive context for the awarded rating. In some cases example derived data are also included as the output of solving the challenge.
The checkpoint uses web ontology standards to link available data to particular challenges. This is similar in context to how comparison websites such as TripAdvisor link users requirements (challenges) to particular hotels (data sets). This provides a value context to the metadata that typically describes datasets.
Improvements for next phase
In phase I, the value scoring of the data is limited to the seven challenges and the scoring is only performed by the check point consortium. Going forward more challenges could be added with scoring provided by third parties. Challenges could also be grouped and related to infer data suitability without formally undertaking a data assessment. For example tidal turbine siting will have similar data requirement to windfarm siting.