Land and Marine Information Integration
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Publication No.52
Workshop Information
Organising Committee
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Organisation Overview
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Joint EuroSDR and IHO Workshop,
Malahide, Dublin. Ireland
21st to 23rd March 2007
Land and Marine Information Integration

Background and Purpose of the Workshop

With climate change, rising sea levels pressing harder year on year and the need to manage our resources more carefully in this dynamic environment, the inability to join up land and marine base information is an increasing problem in many countries. The absence a seamless spatial information framework prevents the execution of standard practice of locating and referencing spatial information across the land-marine interface where so much pressure and development is taking place.

This also inhibits the use and sharing of information by those organisations in the front line of stewardship, it leads to data duplication often resulting in a proliferation of discrete data collection projects, and these can be substantial investments. Often here the data is generally captured once (for a specific purpose) and used only once.

For the European Commission and Member States of the EU this topic is very relevant to INSPIRE, as part of cross theme data consistency (coordinate systems, several data themes, data matching and semantics). It is applicable to a number of themes in Annex I-III across the land and marine environment such as the Elevation, Hydrography/Hydrology, Transport networks, Protected sides, Buildings, Land use, Oceanographic geographical features, Utility information, Addresses, Geology, etc. Specific themes that might also need to be referenced are the: environmental monitoring facilities, area management, natural risk zones, sea regions, bio-geographical regions, habitats and biotopes, species distribution & energy resources etc.

At the organisational level a further complication arises from the fact that in the marine environment, the task of surveying and “mapping” is normally undertaken by a hydrographic organization which is usually separate from the land mapping authority. The hydrographic function to provide charts, nautical publications and update services is primarily for the safety of navigation. The International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO) has however recognised the importance of establishing a marine spatial data infrastructure and in November 2005, the German hydrographic office hosted an SDI seminar in Rostock Germany. The focus of the seminar was “The Role of Hydrographic Services with Regard to Geospatial Data and Planning Infrastructure”. This was followed by a workshop in February 2007 (in conjunction with GeoCuba, Havana), to determine the need for IHO members to pursue the concept of a Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure (Marine – SDI). The workshop concluded with the following resolution:

  • IHB to communicate with IOC to cooperate on the development of the spatial data standard S-100, with a view to facilitate marine/hydrographic data exchange.
  • IHB to advertise and promulgate S-100 to the wider spatial data user community, including the mapping organizations.
  • The workshop supported reinforcing the need for IHO to move forward on developing a strategy for designing and implementing Marine SDI, including an assessment of associated benefit to society.
  • IHO Regional Hydrographic Commissions to have "Progress on Marine SDI Development and Land-Sea Data Integration" as a standing agenda of their meetings.
  • IHB to establish on the IHO website a special page dedicated to Marine SDI developments, including the outcomes of regional workshops on the matter.

These recommendations and the outcomes of the Malahide workshop are to be used as inputs to the IHO General Assembly in Monaco in May 2007.

Workshop Objectives

The aims of the workshop were to determine and document the state of the art and progress at national level and across Europe in integrating maintained national land and marine databases, specifically by exploring:

  • the drivers for integration at national level
  • current status
  • issues that require attention
  • examples of best practice
  • future steps

An advance notice of the workshop was issued in late 2006 and was updated at intervals as the programme developed.


The workshop was sponsored by EuroSDR on behalf of the European national mapping agencies and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) for the hydrographic offices. The workshop was also supported by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission and by EuroGeographics. Ordnance Survey Ireland sponsored the workshop dinner and the Society of Chartered Surveyors of Ireland sponsored the audio-visual arrangements at the workshop.

Click on the links on the left to access workshop materials.


Link to EuroSDR

Link to IHO

Supported by:

Link to JRC
Link to EuroGeographics
Link to SCS
Link to OSi




Link to EuroSDR website