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Analysis of Data Needs and Existing Gaps


These reports focus on data exchanges using Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure (MSDI) and INSPIRE protocols to support interoperability of data, metadata, data portals and availability of Web Services, for meeting data and information requirements for the development of MSP plans in the Western Mediterranean and European North Atlantic.

Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Cross-border / trans-national aspect:
Key words:

Questions this practice may help answer:

  • How are data requirements integrated into the MSP process? 

Implementation Context: 

This study was developed as a part of a series of case studies under the SIMNORAT and SIMWESTMED projects which sought to explore how transboundary management for MSP is being undertaken in the Atlantic and Western Mediterranean Sea basins.

Aspects / Objectives:

The analysis of this report aims to provide an initial information and overview of the state of available datasets for transboundary MSP in the study area against the data and information requirements for MSP in a transboundary context. It provides an inventory of data sources and datasets which correspond to the knowledge of project partnership. The inventory focuses mainly on data available by Web Services formats, with associatedmetadata and for which geographical coverage is in the area of the project or at least the waters of one Member State. 


With the support of a group of experts in coastal and marine planning, GIS and data portal experts, a Task Group on Data was set up. The group went on to identify relevant data and sources available in each of the study area countries. 

Main Outputs / Results:

Data portals and sources were identified and grouped into the following themes:

  1. Administrative boundaries
  2. Physical Chemical Biological information
  3. Spatial Policy
  4. Socio-economic data
  5. Activities and Uses

The study then went on to define an action plan to improve the portrayal, interoperability of metadata and Web Services as outlined in the table below.


This study gives a methodological framework for the analysis and evaluation of data requirements for the creation of MSP plans and could be used as a guidance for other sea basins.   

Responsible Entity: 


Costs / Funding Source: 

Grant Agreement: EASME/EMFF/2015/

Contact person: 

Dominique Carval

Project Manager, SHOM (dominique[dot]carval[at]shom[dot]fr)