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Opening up the coast
Rumson, A.G.; Hallett, S.H. (2018). Opening up the coast. Ocean Coast. Manag. 160: 133-145.
In: Ocean & Coastal Management. Elsevier Science: Barking. ISSN 0964-5691; e-ISSN 1873-524X, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    Open Source data; Coastal management; Geographical Information Systems (GIS); Environmental risk

Authors  Top 
  • Rumson, A.G.
  • Hallett, S.H.

    Coastal zones attract human settlement, business and industry, and are instrumental to the functioning of societies both in coastal states and the wider global community. However, the oceans and coasts are under growing pressure as human practices change, populations rise and climate change impacts increase. In managing coastal regions, high quality data forms the basis of rational decision-making. Large volumes of ‘triple bottom line’ data exists representing a wide variety of environmental, social, and economic themes in coastal regions. Such data is especially crucial to development of environmental risk evaluations for the coast. The momentum driving the Open Source data movement across the world is accelerating and consequently, huge quantities of data are becoming freely available to the public. This presents a valuable opportunity for coastal managers, policy makers and land planners, who need to evaluate the full implications of their choices. Decision-makers frequently need to draw on many disparate datasets. However, this can be complicated by many factors, including a lack of awareness of the full range of datasets available. This paper seeks to explore this area, taking the UK as an example, to reveal how currently available open data sources relate to coastal management decision-making. Environmental risk management is a cross-cutting theme, relevant to all areas of coastal management. As such, this topic is discussed and addressed within a case study focusing on the vulnerable coastal region of East Anglia. In collation and analysis of coastal data Geographical Information Systems (GIS) can play an important role, in line with this GIS approaches were utilised within the case study. The case study led to development of a conceptual framework which can be applied to future coastal risk assessments, using Open Source data. The UK is currently at the forefront of the Open Source data movement and as such it is used as an example within this paper, however the issues addressed have international relevance, and the UK perspective is used to illustrate wider opportunities, resulting from freely available data sources, extending to management of coastal regions globally.

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