Hydrographic data for a
Public hydrographic offices hold a valuable store of data. Yet this
information is generally only accessed by a few specialists and is largely unknown to the
public. Unlocking such valuable data on Europe's seas and coastlines can improve
decision-making among traditional maritime industries, as well as having potential value
to the recreational yachting fraternity.
Project AVID is adding value to the public sector's hydrographic and maritime data by
making it more widely available. The information available covers depth measurements,
coastal topography, sedimentology, waves, currents, tide, landmarks, buoys and beacons,
lights and sea limits. The data is constantly changing and so the Internet is being used
to distribute it in a cost-effective manner.
A prototype online service has been developed, focusing on fisheries and sea defence
management and containing integrated data from three European countries. This pilot
service includes an innovative distributed architecture and data visualisation technology.
The online site, now being tested by users, utilises existing standards to describe the
data, since data descriptions may vary by country and administration.
The AVID stand shows the pilot service using web connections to remote hydrographic
databases in France and Portugal. Visitors can try out an electronic commerce mock-up,
showing how this data could be purchased online. The project is pursuing solutions to the
legal, pricing and harmonisation challenges so that commercialisation of the system will