The European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet): Visions and Roles of the Gateway to Marine Data in Europe

Type Article
Date 2019-07
Language English
Author(s) Martín Míguez Belén1, Novellino Antonio2, Vinci Matteo3, Claus Simon4, Calewaert Jan-Bart5, 6, Vallius Henry7, Schmitt Thierry8, Pititto Alessandro9, Giorgetti Alessandra3, Askew Natalie10, Iona Sissy11, Schaap Dick12, Pinardi Nadia13, Harpham Quillon14, Kater Belinda J.15, Populus Jacques16, She Jun17, Palazov Atanas Vasilev18, McMeel Oonagh5, 6, Oset Paula4, Lear Dan19, Manzella Giuseppe M. R.2, Gorringe Patrick20, Simoncelli Simona21, Larkin Kate5, 6, 22, Holdsworth Neil23, Arvanitidis Christos Dimitrios10, Molina Jack Maria Eugenia3, Chaves Montero Maria Del Mar3, Herman Peter M. J.24, Hernandez Francisco4
Affiliation(s) 1 : Centro Tecnológico del Mar, Vigo, Spain
2 : ETT S.p.A, Genova, Italy
3 : Department of Oceanography Division (OCE), Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS), Trieste, Italy
4 : Data Center, Flanders Marine Institute, Ostend, Belgium
5 : Seascape Belgium, Brussels, Belgium
6 : European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet) Secretariat, Ostend, Belgium
7 : Geological Survey of Finland, Espoo, Finland
8 : Naval Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service, Brest, France
9 : Cogea s.r.l. - Business Management Consultants, Rome, Italy
10 : Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Peterborough, United Kingdom
11 : Hellenic Centre for Marine Research, Anavyssos, Greece
12 : Maris BV, Voorburg, Netherlands
13 : Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
14 : HR Wallingford, Wallingford, United Kingdom
15 : Arcadis N.V., Amsterdam, Netherlands
16 : Institut Français de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer (IFREMER), Brest, France
17 : Danish Meteorological Institute, Copenhagen, Denmark
18 : Institute of Oceanology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Varna, Bulgaria
19 : Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, Plymouth, United Kingdom
20 : Department of Core Services, Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, Norrköping, Sweden
21 : Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione di Bologna Dipartimento Ambiente, National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, Bologna, Italy
22 : European Marine Board Secretariat, Ostend, Belgium
23 : ICES, Copenhaguen, Denmark
24 : Deltares, Delft, Netherlands
Source Frontiers In Marine Science (2296-7745) (Frontiers Media SA), 2019-07 , Vol. 6 , N. 313 , P. 24p.
DOI 10.3389/fmars.2019.00313
WOS© Times Cited 44
Keyword(s) EMODnet, data portal, open access, checkpoint, data services, marine knowledge, blue economy, data integrator

Marine data are needed for many purposes: for acquiring a better scientific understanding of the marine environment, but also, increasingly, as marine knowledge for decision making as well as developing products and services supporting economic growth. Data must be of sufficient quality to meet the specific users' needs. It must also be accessible in a timely manner. And yet, despite being critical, this timely access to known-quality data proves challenging. Europe's marine data have traditionally been collected by a myriad of entities with the result that much of our data are scattered throughout unconnected databases and repositories. Even when data are available, they are often not compatible, making the sharing of the information and data aggregation particularly challenging. In this paper, we present how the European Marine Observation and Data network (EMODnet) has developed over the last decade to tackle these issues. Today, EMODnet is comprised of more than 150 organizations which gather marine data, metadata, and data products and make them more easily accessible for a wider range of users. EMODnet currently consists of seven sub-portals: bathymetry, geology, physics, chemistry, biology, seabed habitats, and human activities. In addition, Sea-basin Checkpoints have been established to assess the observation capacity in the North Sea, Mediterranean, Atlantic, Baltic, Artic, and Black Sea. The Checkpoints identify whether the observation infrastructure in Europe meets the needs of users by undertaking a number of challenges. To complement this, a Data Ingestion Service has been set up to tackle the problem of the wealth of marine data that remain unavailable, by reaching out to data holders, explaining the benefits of sharing their data and offering a support service to assist them in releasing their data and making them available through EMODnet. The EMODnet Central Portal ( provides a single point of access to these services, which are free to access and use. The strategic vision of EMODnet in the next decade is also presented, together with key focal areas toward a more user-oriented service, including EMODnet for business, internationalization for global users, and stakeholder engagement to connect the diverse communities across the marine knowledge value chain.

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Martín Míguez Belén, Novellino Antonio, Vinci Matteo, Claus Simon, Calewaert Jan-Bart, Vallius Henry, Schmitt Thierry, Pititto Alessandro, Giorgetti Alessandra, Askew Natalie, Iona Sissy, Schaap Dick, Pinardi Nadia, Harpham Quillon, Kater Belinda J., Populus Jacques, She Jun, Palazov Atanas Vasilev, McMeel Oonagh, Oset Paula, Lear Dan, Manzella Giuseppe M. R., Gorringe Patrick, Simoncelli Simona, Larkin Kate, Holdsworth Neil, Arvanitidis Christos Dimitrios, Molina Jack Maria Eugenia, Chaves Montero Maria Del Mar, Herman Peter M. J., Hernandez Francisco (2019). The European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet): Visions and Roles of the Gateway to Marine Data in Europe. Frontiers In Marine Science, 6(313), 24p. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :