Geo-Seas is undertaken by a European network of 28 organisations from 17 coastal countries in Europe. The first priority for Geo-Seas is to upgrade the present infrastructure by establishing interoperability and common standards between the data centres to provide harmonised access to metadata and data. The second priority is to expand the services of the Geo-Seas infrastructure by developing and implementing a number of standard data products and viewing services, of key interest to research communities, as well as exploring a number of more complex services with high potential.
To achieve these aims the Geo-Seas work plan comprises:
- 6 Networking Activities including project management, the sharing of experience and knowledge on the infrastructure operation, system monitoring, population and updating of the common directories, organisation of training and technology transfer activities for data managers and technicians, working at the data centres, and promotional activities among both data users and potential other data providers. It also includes establishing standards for metadata, data transport, quality control and quality flags, adapting SeaDataNet standards, and bringing in experiences and developments from previous EU projects and international projects, such as OneGeology and GeoSciML. Furthermore it includes adapting the SeaDataNet data policy and user licence to fit with the provision of geological and geophysical data and data services.
- 1 Service Activity providing integrated online trans-national access to metadatabases and distributed databases, by applying common standards for data and communication between the data centres, and interfacing middleware tools developed in the joint research activity. This approach follows underlying specifications that the data should remain at the individual data centres, that the query software should be accepted by the local IT security systems and that the results from each centre should be aggregated in order to provide a fully integrated product, including the selected data and their documentation, as well as various visualisation web services. The data released for public use will be freely disseminated online (IOC data policy), but not data subject to specific conditions of access and use. The latter will be inventoried in the metadatabases, and may be viewable using quick view services. Provision will be included to negotiate access, if required by the data centre, and further follow-up by the system process. The Geo-Seas infrastructure will start with a first group of interconnected data centres and will gradually expand to interconnect all data centres. Users will benefit from a Pan-European one-stop-shop for identifying relevant data sets and for requesting and gaining access to data sets using the downloading and viewing middleware services, as well as in the form of integrated cross-border and cross-sector data products.
- 4 Joint Research Activities to adapt and to expand the tools and system components, previously developed for SeaDataNet, to the geological and geophysical domains. These will make the data centres in Geo-Seas interoperable and make the composite Geo-Seas infrastructure interoperable with SeaDataNet, and other INSPIRE based infrastructures. One activity is dedicated to the actual implementation at each data centre of the new protocols and tools to enable them to become fully operational nodes in the infrastructure. This will be done gradually. In a first phase, the Geo-Seas tools and system components will be installed and tested by a first group of data centers. When stabilized, in a second phase the other data centres will be equipped and interconnected. An active dialogue and consultation will be undertaken with potential user communities, such as marine researchers, environmental agencies, and oceanographic and hydrographic organizations to retrieve their user requirements and ideas for a number of standard data products and services. The consultation will be performed by Geo-Seas partners, that are involved in COST Action 638, involving governments and marine stakeholders, and the Interreg IIIB MESH project, focusing on marine habitat mapping. For feasible standard products, algorithms and production prototypes will be developed using present technologies, such as 2-D mapping and viewing tools. Also a number of more complex data products will be explored, such as Digital Terrain Modelling (3-D), by developing and testing prototypes, and taking into account experiences and software packages from other international projects, such as OneGeology and GeoSciML.