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Transboundary data interoperability for Maritime Spatial Planning

Yuji Kato

(Submission #173)


The constantly growing number of usages and activities at sea requires an efficient management. The European Directive 2014/89/UE from July 23rd, 2014 constitutes a framework for Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) at a European level. In addition to underlining the need of transboundary cooperation, this Directive highlights that MSP processes must be supported by the “best available data”, either physical, environmental, economic or social. As far as data is concerned, the INSPIRE Directive provides the methods and tools to organise the data sharing. Indeed, over the last ten years, the amount of available datasets has been regularly increasing. MSP is taking advantage of this conducive environment. Nevertheless some difficulties remain, due to the large panel of data producers involved, and to the high diversity of data, formats, scales and representations needed when elaborating maritime spatial plans. In order to support the implementation of MSP Directive in Member States waters and a proper transboundary cooperation on MSP, the DG Mare co-funds cross-border projects on the European maritime areas. Shom (French hydrographic office) participates in 4 of these projects (Celtic Seas, North Atlantic, Western Mediterranean, Channel and North Sea), and is responsible for the work packages regarding data and information diffusion for transboundary MSP. This diffusion is organised and tested through a Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure (MSDI). The MSDI set up in the MSP projects is built following the INSPIRE philosophy: it is intended to display together datasets coming from different countries and organisations and collected as much as possible through OGC Web Services. It is composed of a metadata catalogue, a geospatial data server, a web processing server and a map viewer. This infrastructure gives the possibility to assess the current level of interoperability regarding data involved in MSP processes in the different studied sea basins. It also allows highlighting the remaining difficulties raised when trying to display heterogeneous data together. The different difficulties and challenges encountered can be of several kinds. If some are properly technical, like compatibility issues between software or protocols, some other are linked to organisational concerns. For example, an important heterogeneity in the application of the INSPIRE directive is observed, as well as the unavailability of some key datasets through web services. The last kind of challenge encountered is directly linked to data including harmonisation, which is essential when working with data coming from both sides of a boundary.


Topic Area:  [2.2] International cooperation at EU/EFTA/EEA level
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional Fields

Academic:   No
Data Provider:   Yes
Data User:   No
INSPIRE Implementer (IT):   Yes
INSPIRE newbies:   No
Policy Officers:   Yes
Public Administration (MS/Regional/Local):   Yes
Thematic specialists:   No

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