Facilitating land-sea interface through seamless SDI

Oct 2007 | Comments Off on Facilitating land-sea interface through seamless SDI


Within the terrestrial environment, the International Standards Organisation’s Technical Committee 211 (TC/211) on Geographic Information/Geomatics creates a structured set of standards for information concerning objects or phenomena that are directly or indirectly associated with a location relative to the Earth . For coastal zone users, a big issue is the difference in standards between land and ocean data products. In many instances, these data products are incompatible in terms of scale, projection, datum and format (Gillespie et al. 2000). Additional CSDI considerations include: metadata creation and related standards; guidance on spatial precision, accuracy and data formats; data access policies; and intellectual property and related legal issues (Longhorn 2004).



Institutional Issues


1) Various spatial datasets are collected and stored by different organisations

1) Finding and obtaining datasets is difficult

2) Immature institutional arrangements

2) Reluctance of organisations to share their data

3) Limited knowledge of marine and coastal environment, boundaries and their associated rights, restrictions and responsibilities

3) Inefficient and ineffective marine and coastal management and administration

Policy Issues


1) Restrictive national security and pricing policy regarding marine and coastal data

1) Coastal and marine data being withheld from stakeholders and general public

2) Complex, fragmented regulating framework for marine and coastal management

2) Inability to adequately handle the pressure of different activities and stakeholders within the coastal zone

3) Lack of agreed framework of standards, policies and coordination mechanisms

3) Lack of coordination and sharing of marine and coastal spatial data

Technical Issues


1) The dynamic and fuzzy nature of the shoreline as the one of the main fundamental datasets within the coastal zone

1) Complexity in representation and also barrier to seamless data sharing between disciplines and administrative sectors

2) Existence of different data formats, reference frames and also lack of metadata and consistency in data

2) Lack of interoperability of different datasets

3) Difference in scale, quality , coverage and format of spatial data as well as the lack of, or poor quality metadata

3) Difficulty in integrating different datasets

4) S-57 hydrographic data standards is not at the same level of completeness as ISC/TC 211

4) Difficulty in the interoperability between marine and terrestrial spatial data creates confusion in the coastal zone

5) Different technology to capture spatial data in marine and coastal environment

5) Difficulty in achieving the same level of completeness, currency and reliability as terrestrial data

Policy Issues

The population and development pressures that coastal areas experience generate a number of critical problems and policy issues and raise serious and difficult challenges for coastal planners.In many parts of the world, access to detailed information about the coast is considered a very sensitive issue, primarily due to concerns over national security. These restrictive national security and pricing policy regarding marine and coastal data lead to coastal data being withheld from stakeholders and the general public. Other issues also need to be taken into account, including the need for harmonised data access policies and exploitation rights for spatial information, particularly that collected by public sector agencies across different nations and even within single governments (Bartlett et al. 2004). These issues add to the institutional challenges described above, showing that current management strategies are ‘fragmented, complex and poorly understood’ (Neely et al. 1998).

Many coastal management issues could be overcome if a spatial data platform that enables a holistic, integrated and coordinated approach to spatial information for decision-making existed. SDI provides an enabling platform enhancing decision-making and facilitating a holistic approach to management (Strain et al. 2004).


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