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Data management guidance document


As part of SIMNORAT and SIMWESTMED, data portals were developed for sharing transboundary MSP knowledge for the Northern Atlantic and Western Mediterranean, respectively. The portals were designed as demonstrator of a tool to support decision making amongst GIS experts and all stakeholders involved in the MSP process in these sea basins. The portals collect data by harvesting processes using INSPIRE protocols. Indeed, it is considered that they are tools established to share spatial datasets among countries in Europe, and especially efficient to share the most up to date datasets, wich is a criteria of data quality. Their architecture is based mainly on open licences softwares. Whereas these softwares, Geonetwork and Geoserver are not well documented, the guidance documents for each portal share technical knowledge and processes required to set up and manage similar data portals. In addition the guidance documents highlight the benefits and challenges of the use of these softwares as it is a harvesting system whereas it is not usually used in such a manner.Moreover, the data management documents include a list of MSP information sources available in the areas as established at the end of the projects.

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

Questions this practice may help answer:

  • What data portals are available for supporting MSP processes? 
  • What technical knowledge and processes are required to set up and manage similar data portals?
  • What are the technical challenges of harvesting of the data portals of the neighbouring countries in order to established transboundary MSP knowledge?

Implementation Context:

The guidance documents were developed as a part of the SIMNORAT and SIMWESTMED projects, which sought to support the MSP Directive  implementation in the Atlantic and Western Mediterranean Sea basins and to explore how transboundary management for MSP is being undertaken.

Aspects / Objectives:

As part of SIMNORAT and SIMWESTMED, Shom was in charge of setting up a data portal to serve as a viewer for sharing and displaying transboundary MSP knowledge in the project areas. This data portal aims to demonstrate the use of geoportals as support decision making processes within transboundary MSP issues and support the identification and to address ofdata needs and gaps that may arise. 


With the support of a group of experts in GIS, the data portals were developed taking the following concepts into account:

Main Outputs / Results:

One data portal for each of the study areas was developed with a user-friendly interface which can be seen in the following figures: 

SIMNORAT data portal



This study gives a methodological guidance for developing data portals for the management and communication of data between countries in a user-friendly way. Other countries could apply the methodology in this guidance to develop their own data portals to support the data requirements throughout the MSP process. 

Responsible Entity: 


Costs / Funding Source: 

Grant Agreement: EASME/EMFF/2015/

Contact person: 

Dominique Carval

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