INSPIRE Knowledge Base


SeaDataNet: pan-European network for oceanographic and marine data and information management
Mission and Objectives: 
The primary goals of SeaDataNet are to provide users in a wider Europe up-to-date and high quality access to ocean and marine metadata, data and data products originating from data acquisition activities by all engaged coastal states, by setting, adopting and promoting common data management standards and by realising technical and semantic interoperability with other relevant data management systems and initiatives on behalf of science, environmental management, policy making, and economy. SeaDataNet is a pan-European infrastructure established, operated and further developed by the National Oceanographic Data Centres (NODCs), and marine information services of major research institutes, from 31 coastal states bordering the European seas, and also includes Satellite Data Centres, expert modelling centres and the international organisations IOC, ICES and EU-JRC in its network. Its 40 data centres are highly skilled and have been actively engaged in data management for many years and have the essential capabilities and facilities for data quality control, long term stewardship, retrieval and distribution. In the SeaDataNet II project it is undertaking activities to achieve data access and data products services that meet requirements of end-users and intermediate user communities, such as GMES Marine Core Services (e.g. MyOcean), establishing SeaDataNet as the core data management component of the EMODNet infrastructure and contributing on behalf of Europe to global portal initiatives, such as the IOC/IODE – Ocean Data Portal (ODP), and GEOSS. Moreover it aims to achieve full INSPIRE compliance and to contribute to the INSPIRE process for developing implementing rules for oceanography.
Formal Mandate: 
The initial Sea-Search network was established as a European cooperative network of 16 National Oceanographic Data Centres and information centres from 14 European coastal states with support of EC-MAST. These activities continued from 2002 onwards as Sea-Search project in the EC 5th framework as a Pan-European network of 33 NODC’s and information services from 30 coastal states, riparian to all European seas. The focus in Sea-Search was developing and providing pan-European metadata discovery services. This was continued and the network further expanded to 35 countries, in the FP6 SeaDataNet project (2006 - 2011), now also developing services for hamonised access to data and data products, acquired from research cruises and other observational activities in European marine waters and global oceans. The established SeaDataNet infrastructure with its services, data exchange standards and tools is continued in the FP7 SeaDataNet II project (2011-2015) with several aims as indicated above. SeaDataNet has no official mandate, but is a network, existing of leading and major institutes all over Europe, that are active in acquisition, processing, analysis an management of ocean and marine data and information. It is the leading infrastructure in Europe for ocean and marine data management. Its standards and services are adopted by many projects and initiatives in the ocean and marine community. It is also the core infrastructure for the development of the EMODnet data management component. Furthermore each of the partners is active in national networks, communicating with other marine and ocean institutes in their country, and promoting SeaDataNet standards for QC, storage, catalogues, access. Also many partners are part of IODE network of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO.
SeaDataNet maintains and operates several discovery services with overviews of marine organisations in Europe and their engagement in marine research projects, managing large datasets, and data acquisition by research vessels and monitoring programmes for the European seas and global oceans. SeaDataNet provides online unified access to distributed datasets via its portal website to the vast resources of marine and ocean datasets, managed by the distributed data centres. The Common Data Index (CDI) is the key Discovery and Delivery service, giving users a highly detailed insight in the geographical coverage, and other metadata features of data across the different data centres. Users can request access to identified datasets in a harmonised way, using a shopping basket. They can follow the processing of requests via an online transaction register and can download datasets in the SeaDataNet standard formats. At present the CDI service provides metadata and access to more than 1.000.000 data sets, originating from more than 300 organisations in Europe,covering physical, geological, chemical, biological and geophysical data, and acquired in European waters and global oceans. SeaDataNet maintains and operates Common Vocabulary Web services for a broad spectrum of ocean and marine disciplines. The common terms are used to mark up metadata, data and data products in a consistent and coherent way. Governance is regulated by an international board. At present the Vocabulary Services comprise over 120000 terms in over 100 lists. The SeaDataNet infrastructure comprises a network of interconnected data centres and a central SeaDataNet portal. The portal provides users not only background information about SeaDataNet and the various SeaDataNet standards and tools, but also a unified and transparent overview of the metadata and controlled access to the large collections of data sets, managed by the interconnected data centres. The SeaDataNet infrastructure comprises the following middleware services: * Discovery services = Metadata directories and User interfaces * Vocabulary services = Common vocabularies and Governance * Security services = Authentication, Authorisation & Accounting * Delivery services = Requesting and Downloading of data sets * Viewing services = Mapping of metadata * Product viewing services = Viewing of generic and standard products in maps * Monitoring services = Statistics on system usage and performance and Registration of data requests and transactions * Maintenance services = Entry and updating of metadata by data centres Compared to the present state of SeaDataNet services a number of clear advances will be made in the SeaDataNet II project: * The discovery services will be made fully INSPIRE compliant * Machine to machine interaction will be implemented in support of regular and operational metadata and data exchanges with external systems such as for example the GMES Marine Core Service (MyOcean), the INSPIRE discovery service, the IOC-IODE Ocean Data Portal and the GEOSS data portal. * Improved cooperation with related projects and initiatives, such as Geo-Seas, EUROFLEETS, JERICO, EuroArgo, and the ongoing EMODNet lots (hydrography, geology, chemicals, biology and physical data). * Harmonisation of SeaDataNet services with real-time data services maintained by EuroGOOS and its Regions (ROOSes) and MyOcean (GMES-Marine cores services), so that users will be able to discover and access operational oceanographic data both in delayed and real-time modes. This will be integrated with the EMODNet Physical project. * Improved ability to handle biological data in cooperation with the marine biodiversity community by establishing interoperability and contributing to EurOBIS (European Ocean Biogeographic Information System). SeaDataNet has developed standards and tools, that will be upgraded.
Members of SeaDataNet are National Oceanographic Data Centres and Marine Data focal points, based at major national marine & ocean research institutes and departments. Present members are: IFREMER (France) (coordinator), MARIS (Netherlands) (Technical Co-ordinator), HCMR/HNODC(Greece), ULg (Belgium), OGS (Italy), NERC/BODC (UK), BSH/DOD (Germany), SMHI (Sweden), IEO(Spain), RIHMI/WDC (Russian Federation), IOC-IODE (International), ENEA (Italy), INGV (Italy), METU (Turkey), CLS(France), AWI (Germany), IMR (Norway), NERI (Denmark), ICES (International), EC-DG JRC(International), MI (Ireland), IHPT (Portugal), NIOZ (Netherlands), RBINS/MUMM (Belgium), VLIZ(Belgium), MRI (Iceland), FIMR (Finland ), IMGW (Poland), MSI (Estonia), LHEI (Latvia), EPA (Lithuania), SIO/RAS (Russia), MHI/DMIST (Ukraine), IO-BAS (Bulgaria), NIMRD (Romania), TSU(Georgia), IOF (Croatia), NIB (Slovenia), UoM (Malta), OC/UCY(Cyprus), IOLR (Israel), CNR (Italy), IBSS (Ukraine), UniHB (Germany), TUBITAK (Turkey), SHOM (France), Eu-Consult (Netherlands), STFC (United Kingdom), ENSSMAL (Algeria), INRH (Morocco), INSTM (Tunesia), UTM-CSIC (Spain), UPT-INEWI (Albania), IMBK (Montenegro), RSHU (Russian Federation), CluWeb (Italy), and SHODB (Turkey)
SeaDataNet is a long standing cooperation of National Oceanographic Data Centres (NODC’s) and Marine Data focal points. These are highly skilled and actively engaged in data management for several decades. Most NODC’s are divisions of major national marine research institutes, manage large data holdings and have established working relations with other institutes in their countries.

Which role(s) do you foresee for the SDIC in INSPIRE development

  • submit reference material as input to the Drafting Teams
  • yes
  • participate in the review process
  • yes
  • implement pilot projects to test/revise/develop the draft Implementing Rules
  • yes
  • be kept informed
  • yes
    Geographic Domain
    European seas
    Societal Sector
    Central government, research sector and private sector (offshore industry, engineering)
    Specific Expertise
    Previous Experience relevant for INSPIRE development
    SeaDataNet has developed and is maintaining a number of internet metadatabases for the ocean & marine community, such as e.g. the European Directory of Marine Environmental Datasets (EDMED), and the Common Data Index (CDI) providing harmonised access to distributed SeaDataNet data centres. These developments are tuned at global scale in communication with the IOC-IODE (UNESCO)and at European scale with INSPIRE. SeaDataNet partners are major marine data managers and are well experienced in development and application of QC standards for datasets.
    Environmental application domains
    Coastal Zone Management , Monitoring Coastal areas , Monitoring Water pollution, Climate change, Marine management
    Primary Business
    Ocean and marine data management and support services