Lovell Johns are part of a consortium of companies (with Cogea, AND International, AZTI Tecnalia, CETMAR and Eurofish International Organisation) awarded a three-year contract in September 2013 by the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (DG MARE). The aim of the contract is to assemble fragmented marine and maritime mapping data on the extent and intensity of human activities, and make them available through a single web portal.
Through the release of the EU Green Paper on a Future Maritime Policy for the European Union in 2006, poor access to marine and maritime data was confirmed to be a barrier to scientific understanding, a brake on the economy and a handicap to government decision-making. In 2008 the European Commission proposed to take steps towards a European Marine Observation and Data Network (EMODnet). “Human Activities” is the latest of the EMODnet lots.
The EMODnet Human activities web portal, under development by Lovell Johns, presents marine and maritime mapping data of a series of activities related to the sea. The initial website was launched in April 2014 and will be further developed over the coming months as more data is added. The mapping data is collated and harmonised by other consortium members from across the EU. GIS layers such as aggregate extraction, dredging, commercial shipping, pipelines and wind farms can be viewed and interrogated using the web portal.
The web portal makes use of responsive design, allowing the information pages to resize and adapt the layout according to the screen space available on the viewing device.
The main data viewing page, allowing users to view and interrogate marine and maritime mapping data, makes use of open source mapping technology. Lovell Johns use open source technology wherever suitable as this approach offers software developments that use up-to-date and relevant open standards at a sustainable cost.
Users are able to navigate around the mapping, toggle on and off various marine and maritime mapping layers and interrogate features to see a wealth of valuable attributes. The web portal also utilises dynamic, database driven news articles, document stores and contact forms.
Further developments of the web portal will allow data to be downloaded and even streamed direct to GIS desktop software via OGC compliant Web Feature Services (WFS). Metadata will be made available based on the appropriate INSPIRE standards.