OceanWise Deliver Data Governance and Marine Spatial Data Training as part of the GEOMAC course at the UK Hydrographic Office

Courtesy of IHO: IHO-Nippon Foundation Alumi Seminar Group Photo

OceanWise’s Dr Mike Osborne, recently delivered a short course as part of the latest Geospatial Marine Analysis and Cartography (GEOMAC) course held at the UK Hydrographic Office in Taunton.

The course, ‘Data Governance and Marine SDI’, underlines the importance of data governance in increasing efficiencies and reducing risk when creating and maintaining traditional and e-navigational products and services.

The GEOMAC is a Nippon Foundation funded initiative under the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) Capacity Building (CB) Programme and is open to individuals from all national hydrographic offices and maritime authorities who wish to expand their knowledge and understanding in this area. The programme “aims to provide an education programme for young nautical cartographers with cutting-edge knowledge and connects the nautical cartography community… The skill and knowledge of this community contributes to solving regional and global challenges beyond the SOLAS obligation”.

Why is data management important to hydrography?

In recent years, the importance of data management to hydrography generally, and as a fundamental building block to marine cartography and source data receipt and assessment, has been highlighted. In addition, the concept of a Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure (MSDI) is increasingly being used to describe how marine geospatial datasets, including hydrographic datasets, are created, and how the data products based on them are maintained and made available to users. Although one of the drivers behind MSDI is to make hydrographic data more readily available for activities unrelated to navigation (e.g. Marine Spatial Planning), it is now accepted that the principles and components that make up MSDI can be applied across all other application areas, including in support of e-navigation.

image2 22OceanWise’s 4 pillars of MSDI

OceanWise Training

OceanWise was asked to supplement the GEOMAC course by introducing students to data governance theory and practices used in other geographical domains and application areas and how best practice data governance is fundamental to supporting the use of new technologies (e.g. machine learning, autonomous vessels, smart ports) and to making hydrography relevant more widely.

The current GEOMAC cohort included students from 15 countries including from West Africa, Middle East, South America and New Zealand. Particularly satisfying was that included in this group were students from IHO member states that have not participated in IHO MSDI related activities previously.


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