The Marine and Coastal Special Interest Group aims to provide a strong collective professional voice in the UK and wider international marine geographical information community in order to:
- Influence organisational change, and promote the creation and robust management of marine geographical information (GI) for the benefit of all members.
- Foster greater understanding, and promote the importance of, data access, sharing and exchange of marine GI as part of a spatial data infrastructure (SDI) that embraces land-sea GI interests.
- Highlight the importance of mapping and planning as a common theme linking marine, terrestrial and cross-sectoral interests.
This Special Interest Group comprises hydrographic, oceanographic, cartographic, marine science and IT specialists, as well as practitioners from central and local government, academia, commerce and the third sector. As a group, it aims to work to promote marine geographical information on a national and international basis, and to enhance members’ services and bring cohesion and improved recognition to the marine sector by:
- Arranging events and other communication and publishing activities.
- Promoting the value and benefit of GI to the marine sector.
- Working to ensure marine interests are represented in GI-related initiatives.
- Promoting the advantages of professional body membership.
- Establishing and supporting communication, educational and CPD programmes.
Challenges confronting the UK marine industry
There are some rather interesting challenges confronting the UK marine industry which should provoke some thoughtful discussions and debates at future meetings:
- The value of GI is not understood and the use of GIS is not widespread.
- Disparate governance across sectors means fragmentation.
- Reducing budgets means decision makers have to deliver more for less money.
- Scientific published citations are being replaced by databases?
- Ensuring security across borders and boundaries.
- Making ports “smart”?
- Web enabled real time data publishing is increasingly critical to the safe management of the coastal zone.
- The sensor web is struggling to make an impact?
- Maritime Information Infrastructures replacing ad-hoc data and information management processes.
- Marine Planning is happening via a “make do and mend” approach.
- Linked Data in the Marine is now do-able
- Lack of joined up approach to data collection with few authoritative data holders.
Put all these aspects together and it’s not hard to realise that we are some way from resilient activities. The Blue Economy has plenty of growth potential, in terms of new markets, new customers and new technologies.
Raising awareness of issues in the Intertidal zone
There is also a need to raise awareness of issues in the Intertidal zone which affect our terrestrial colleagues, and the AGI is the perfect forum for this to occur. During the 2014/15 GeoBig5 event series all of the topics featured were very relevant to both the Terrestrial and Marine environments, e.g. Big Data, UAVs, Sensors, BIM and Open GeoSpatial to highlight just a few.
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