Wednesday, 05 July 2017 07:35

Netherlands: Making marine data widely and easily available


The European Commission set up the European Marine Observation Data Network (EMODnet) six years ago. It is a network of more than 100 organisations working together to observe and measure the oceans, process the data according to international standards and then make that information freely available. Usually, the data are collected via local, national and regional databases and then made available via EMODnet's central information gateway as interoperable data layers and data products.

Human Activities is a relatively new discipline added to the EMODnet central portal. The aim is to map all sea-related human activities concerning for example mariculture, fisheries zones, main ports (i.e. transport of goods, passenger and vessels), cultural heritage, and many other. The map provides aggregated data on the geographical position and spatial extent of the activities concerned, their temporal variation, time when data was provided, and attributes to indicate the intensity of each activity. Data are collected and updated on a permanent basis, subject to their availability. The portal has been designed to make it easy to search for information.  

Representatives of the six project partners involved in Human Activities met in Oostende to discuss the project state-of-the-play as well as future tasks till the end of the project which will end in September 2016. Among these, the distribution of a questionnaire to key stakeholders to get their feedback as well as the implementation of a search engine optimisation strategy were discussed. Although positive feedback has been received on the portal up to now, Human Activities needs to attract more visitors and raise global awareness about the portal. The information displayed is not only a useful reference for e.g. researchers, academia, government administrations but also for the industry, associations, individual experts and anyone who has an interest in the fields covered by the portal. For more information, contact  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit