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The development of a spatial data infrastructure to support marine spatial planning in Greece

Elsevier - Ocean & Coastal Management - Volume 218.

Abstract:

Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) has been recognized as an essential tool for reducing the increasing pressures on marine and coastal areas (resulting from human activities and competition) and contributing to sustainable development. Therefore, during the last years many countries have initiated MSP processes towards the implementation of Maritime Spatial Strategies and Marine Spatial Plans. However, a prerequisite for the coordinated and effective MSP is the provision of high-quality spatial data to the responsible parties and the public, through appropriate and easy-to-use tools. This can be succeeded by the development of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) that enables the organization of spatial datasets and their distribution through the web. In this paper we propose a development framework and present the actions taken for the implementation of a Marine SDI to support MSP in Greece, and discuss the lessons learned from our so-far experience.

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

Questions this practice may help answer:

  • How to provide MSP stakeholders with easily accessible, standardised and high-quality spatial data?
  • How to implement Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) for MSP purposes?
  • How to better integrate INSPIRE standards in MSP-oriented SDI? 

Implementation Context:

This research was led by the University of the Aegean, in the framework of the THAL CHOR 2 project.

Aspects / Objectives:

The objective of this research is to implement a single entry point for web-based access to relevant and accurate thematic datasets, which can be reviewed and utilised by any stakeholder participating in MSP processes. The implemented MSDI will alleviate cross-organisational, cross-sectoral and multi-scale integration obstacles, allowing simple information publishing and provision all the way to collaborative decision making.

Method:

This paper presents the design and implementation of the MSDI. In this context, the human use conflicts and compatibility matrix for coastal and marine areas in Greece is introduced. A new thematic categorisation for MSP input data is proposed to better meet stakeholder deliberation and interaction needs, as well as to support marine spatial planners’ work. In addition, a generic MSDI development framework is provided, indicating sets of actions to be taken at the various phases of the implementation process, highlighting their relationship with the various pillars of an SDI. The framework was applied to present a straightforward architecture and technical solution for an interoperable, INSPIRE-compliant and easy to use MSDI for MSP in Greece.

Main Outputs / Results:

A generic MSDI development framework is provided, indicating sets of actions to be taken at the various phases of the implementation process, highlighting their relationship with the various pillars of an SDI. The framework was applied to present a straightforward architecture and technical solution for an interoperable, INSPIRE-compliant and easy to use MSDI for MSP in Greece. Besides the technological aspect for the development of the MSDI, a valuable point of the presented work concerns the coordination and collaboration of various stakeholders, including governmental bodies, organisations that collect and maintain spatial data, academic institutions, MSP experts and technical personnel.

Transferability:

This research builds on the most recent work of the European Technical Expert Group on Data for MSP and takes it further in some respects (e.g., categorisation of MSP-related data, application of INSPIRE principles). In this regard, the developed MSDI can contribute to other European MSP-oriented SDIs in terms of architecture and data management. 

Responsible Entity:

University of the Aegean.

Costs / Funding Source:

This research is supported by the project “Cross-Border Cooperation for Implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning” (referred as “THAL CHOR 2”) and it is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and by national funds of Greece and Cyprus, under the Cooperation Programme “INTERREG V-A Greece-Cyprus 2014–2020”.

Contact person:

Michail Vaitis - University of the Aegean - vaitisataegean.gr (vaitis[at]aegean[dot]gr)