IOI-Malta Operational Centre participates in the SeaDataNet Project IOI-Malta Operational Centre participates in the SeaDataNet Project – Towards a virtual ocean data centre for Europe.

SeaDataNet is an EU-funded FP6 project targeting to develop over the next five years an efficient pan-European infrastructure for ocean and marine data management.

The predecessor of SeaDataNet, the Sea-Search project, led to the development of databases which store meta-data marine records held by European organisations, information about marine projects within Europe, and reports about research cruises organised by European institutions. These databases can be accessed by any WWW user through the web portal http://www.sea-search.net.

In SeaDataNet these databases will be continued, updated and harmonised. The main effort in SeaDataNet will however be the setting up of a trans-national ocean data access system for Europe. It will consist of a distributed database system with a hierarchy of ramifications linking national centres to specialised and dedicated regional data archival and management focal nodes. The system will enable the seamless search, viewing and retrieval of information from the national centres in real-time and with cross-searching functionality whenever a user query from the web portal is received.

The Physical Oceanography Unit of the IOI - Malta Operational Centre at the University of Malta is responsible for the archival and management of oceanographic data relating to the Maltese Islands. In SeaDataNet, IOI-MOC will form part of this European virtual ocean data system, and will continue to maintain the local oceanographic databases, and update their structure to make them compatible with the central databases. These local databases can be currently accessed online through the Malta Blue Pages http://www.capemalta.net/odm/index.php.

The Malta Blue Pages provides an internet-based distributed directory system for ocean & marine data and information, and a single-point online reference for a number of marine data sources and descriptions in the field of oceanography and the marine environment in Malta. Serving as an oceanographic metadata bank the Malta Blue Pages points to different sources of relevant datasets, data catalogues and data inventories. It also provides a dedicated interface for browsing, query and retrieval of data.

SeaDataNet will also prepare added-value products developed from data in the European regional seas. IOI-MOC will assist in the development of such user products for the Mediterranean region.