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The Marine Irish Digital Atlas
mida.ucc.ie

More:  Institutes 
Status: In Progress

Institutes (3)  Top 
  • University College Cork; Coastal and Marine Research Centre (CMRC), more, partner
  • University of Ulster; Centre for Coastal and Marine Research (CCMR), more, partner
  • Environment and Heritage Service (EHSNI), more, sponsor

Abstract:
Atlas Purpose

  • Provide a professional and public resource for coastal and inshore marine areas for Ireland;
  • Make available maps, data and information on coastal themes;
  • Assist professionals in identifying sources of data, information and expertise on the marine environment;
  • Offer accessibility to GIS data in the form of searchable metadata and a web GIS;
  • Encourage a greater appreciation of Ireland's coastal regions.

Distinguishing Features

  • Island-wide, covering the Republic and Northern Ireland;
  • Uses Open Source software;
  • Single main atlas page is sectioned into panels (map, layers and information);
  • Includes spatial data from over 35 organisations.

Target Audience

  • General Public;
  • Tourists;
  • Students;
  • Researchers/Scientists;
  • NGOs;
  • Government/Public Bodies;
  • Commercial/Industry;
  • Consultancies;
  • Coastal/Environmental Managers;
  • Decision Makers;

Atlas Design and Usability

  • Focus:

    • Map content;

  • Design:

    • Clear navigation and instruction;
    • Involved user feedback;
    • Access text from maps/maps from text;
    • Multiple point(s) of access to map/data;

  • Map Page:

    • View unlimited layers
    • View data independently/by theme;.
    • Combined legend & layer lists
    • Links to internal/external pages

  • Documentation:

    • Thematic text;
    • Metadata:

      • Database
      • Multiple format(s);

    • Illustrations, images and charts
    • Help page(s);
    • Tutorial;

  • Standards:

    • Metadata standards: ISO 19xxx;

  • Other:

    • Three tiers of metadata


Technology Used

  • Mapping Software:

    • Open Source;

  • Data Storage:

    • Locally: Flat files;

  • Database Management System:

    • Yes: PostgreSQL;

  • Server Operating System

    • Red Hat Linux Apache Web Server

  • Other

    • Apache Web Server;
    • ArcGIS 9 used for data processing


Functionality/Tools Available

  • Level:

    • Basic

  • Search Capability:

    • Search for data

  • Other:

    • Advanced metadata search;
    • MIDA InfoPort: a comprehensive guide to information on coastal and marine themes and issues;
    • PDF/Printable maps not possible due to data licensing issues..

  • Mapping Tools:

    • Zoom, recentre and full extent;
    • Identify features;
    • Layer list control;
    • View by theme;
    • Download geospatial data;


Data/Cartographic Information Included

  • Geographic Area: Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland (UK)
  • Number of Datasets: >140
  • Topics:

    • Physical Environment;
    • Coastal Habitats;
    • Imagery;
    • Biology;
    • Management;
    • Human Impact;
    • Conservation;
    • Environmental Monitoring;
    • Infrastructure;
    • Industry;
    • Culture & Heritage;
    • Natural Resources;
    • Fisheries, Aquaculture & Agriculture;
    • Tourism & Recreation;


Data Issues

  • IPR/Cost:

    • Cost-prohibitive data (base/other);
    • Intellectual Property Rights (IPR);
    • Data use restrictions;

  • Accessibility:

    • Data sourcing and acquisition;
    • Poorly managed, inaccessible data;
    • Limited GIS-ready data;
    • Distributed network not yet feasible;
    • Data retrieval speed;

  • Quality:

    • Variable/inconsistent data quality;
    • Inappropriate data scales;
    • Incomparable regional datasets;
    • Poor/non-existent metadata;

  • Management:

    • Data management plan development;
    • Balance of development and updates;
    • Regularity of data updates;
    • Manual upload of data to atlas;
    • Resources to source/acquire data;

  • Other:

    • Time required to source and acquire data;
    • Lack of data catalogues;
    • Memorandum of Understanding is agreed with each data contributor..


Other Challenges

  • Funding for site maintenance;
  • Designing simple, intuitive and informative web interface;
  • Content balance of science and information;
  • Product promotion;
  • Other:

    • Designing the atlas interface to provide access to everything in a single window;
    • Developing a flexible data model.


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