02.10 MAC

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Meeting Notes; Potential of iMarine infrastructure for MSC data hub

October 2; 10-11 AM


  • Anton Ellenbroek; FAO / iMarine
  • Mark Luckins, David Stelfox, Alice Diash; MSC

Meeting objective: Inform MSC on the potential to use the iMarine infrastructure to deliver elements of a Data Hub for MSC

Meeting Notes:

Anton Ellenbroek prepared a few discussion topics, and presented iMarine. Some points to keep:

  1. Data Collection – iMarine is preparing to develop SmartForms; mobile on-board data collection for scientific observers. Data can be stored in the infrastructure (MySQL, Postgress, noSQL, virtuoso, …), or forwarded to external data repositories.
  2. Data Discovery and Access – iMarine provides access to a host of data repositories. It has implemented standards for geospatial data (OGC), Biodiversity data (Darwin Core) and statistical time series data (SDMX).
    1. There are harmonization facilities to bridge between formats and vocabularies used in data (e.g. map between species names in English and scientific names)
    2. There are transformation facilities to align and merge datasets
  3. Data Processing – The statistical manager simplifies the installation and execution of algorithms. This has several advantages: it eliminates the need to buy or maintain decent hardware, it supports complex and resource intensive computations in JAVA, R, or as a WPS, data and computations are neatly separated, etc. This supports the typical scenario where a scientist teams up with an engineer.
  4. Data vizualization – MapViewer and FactSheets are embedded in the iMarine infrastructure, but data hosted in the infrastructure are also accessible through portals. FAO e.g. uses iMarine to manage the content of fact-sheets. These fact-sheets are associated to a shape on a map and a period.
  5. Software infrastructure (gCube) with application deployment. Users can download the software, but it is huge and complex, and this is not recommended. Users interested in exploitation the infrastructure for their own development can join the iMarine consortium (or its follow up, as the project is closing), or ask for a support offer.
  6. Some examples of iMarine uses:
    1. FAO Tuna Atlas data harmonization
    2. Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems Database (preview demo)
    3. AquaMaps Species distribution and species richness maps generation
    4. BiOnym Species name disambiguation
  7. Other communities using similar resources are:
    1. EGIP; the European Geothermal Information Portal. This portal manages maps of subsurface temperature, and has predefined algorithms to process maps. It is built using the iMarine components. It could therefore be developed in two weeks.
    2. SocialIsti; manages the documents of a group of scientists (similar to a sharepoint server). Also this took days rather than weeks to develop.

Mark Luckins explained that MSC is not immediately considering using iMarine, but that MSC is considering establishing a data hub. This could be an opportunity for iMarine services. He is interested to be kept in the loop of major developments.

Anton Ellenbroek will add Mark Luckins to the extended Board mailing List.

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