SIMCelt Data Portal


The SIMCelt Data Portal is a demonstrator tool which aims to share transboundary MSP information from within the Celtic Seas region. The tool allows users to identify and explore gaps in data, prompting them to find possible solutions and support the data gathering phases of MSP. The Portal is one of a suite of outputs which forms an overall sub-component on “Data and Information Requirements for MSP”.

Application in MSP: 
Unknown effect
Not sector specific
Type of Issue: 
Stage of MSP cycle: 
Analyse spatial aspects

Questions this practice may help answer

  • What data is available to support planning in the Celtic seas?
  • Where do gaps exist in data for the Celtic Seas?
  • How can interactive tools for planning be designed?

Implementation Context

The implementation of Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) requires high quality data as stated in Article 6 of the MSP Directive 2014/89/EU and as per Article 10 the sharing of this data should be decided upon in order to facilitate the production of maritime spatial plans. With regards to environmental data the INSPIRE Directive 2007/2/EC  was established to create an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community and to ensure the spatial infrastructures of Member States are compatible and usable in a Community and transboundary context. MSP thus far has been able to take advantage of this knowledge exchange however gaps in data and information still remain and therefore the need to continue to improve spatial data sharing.

This work resulted in the publication of the following reports:

  • Deliverable 4 - Analysis of Data Needs and Existing Gaps – Specifically Relating to Transboundary Working ;
  • Deliverable 7- Data Management Guidance Document.

Part of the latter report outlines the need for and the workings off the SIMCelt Data Portal (SDP) Demonstrator which is summarised in the practice below.

Aspects / Objectives

The data portal acts as a demonstrator to share transboundary MSP Knowledge on the Celtic seas. It can also be used as a decision support tool designed for two different audience groups:

GIS experts or data experts to experiment datasets interoperability and to address needs and gaps
All stakeholders involved in the MSP to display and to use datasets in transboundary context.

Due to the diverse nature of the target audience the portal is designed to be as user friendly as possible.


The portal is meant to serve as a technical environment dedicated to identifying data gaps and possible solutions to solve them in support of the “Data and Information Requirements for MSP”

Component. It is used to experiment and improve interoperability between datasets coming from different producers or countries, provided through various protocols or formats, represented with

different symbologies, and containing heterogeneous attribute information. There are therefore no intentions either to constitute an exhaustive data catalogue or to maintain the portal after the end of

SIMCelt project.

The portal data catalogue has been built using web services available through INSPIRE the benefits of which are as follows:

  • Data is stored by the producer. It avoids unnecessary duplication and lowers the administration processes ;
  • Latest available data are always displayed, without any additional manipulation.

The following figure explains the concepts developed by this portal demonstrator and the associated technical answers.

SIMCelt Data portal Concepts and Answers

Main Outputs / Results

Online Portal available at:

Report detailing Portal Architecture and User Interface at:


Whist the portal itself focuses on the Celtic Seas it has been constructed in such way any organisation who wished to would be able to replicate it. This was achieved by using only components either under open-source licenses or already developed through other European projects.

Responsible Entities

SHOM (Service hydrographique et océanographique de la marine)

Costs / Funding Source

Cost: 1.811.520,00 EUR (total project)

SIMCelt Project: European Commission

Contact person

Dominque Carval – SHOM SIMCelt Project Manager (

Yuji Kato - Responsible for SIMCelt Data and Information Requirements for MSP Component (