Effective marine spatial planning, academic research, and business operations require ready access to data as it becomes available. Ocean datasets should reside with the authoritative source, but this inherently fragments data accessibility and creates variability in data quality and formats. The lack of a single data catalogue describing available data impedes management efforts and scientific research.
The MA Metadata Portal, located on the NASA Global Change Master Directory, provides a single access point for data analysts to understand datasets that have been published using accepted standards. A searchable catalogue that explains the source and ownership of data means scientists, business leaders, resource managers, planners and others can find the right data sources necessary to make informed, efficient and effective decisions.
Role in Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning
Metadata (linked to the root data) provide critical information about a dataset that facilitates data analysis and sharing in support of EBMSP and an integrated data network.
Challenges & Applications
Getting all researchers to contribute to the network and adhere to consistent standards is the primary challenge. Through a single well known access point (NASA), metadata are accessible to anyone dealing with marine spatial planning issues, and can be used on a state and regional level (Potentially supporting larger networks on a national or international scale).
Online access to indexed categories of marine spatial planning data via a single portal means ocean resource managers, scientists, planners and industries have better access to information to make efficient and effective decisions.