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Archival of data and data rescue | Data exchange with other NODCs | Data products

Research and monitoring of the marine environment in Malta is conducted by a number of government departments, centres and laboratories, commercial companies and the University. This wide distribution of organisations responsible for making and using marine observations results in a great variety of data types that are held in different locations.

The value of oceanographic data and information is greatly enhanced when it is shared and merged into integrated multidisciplinary sets. Applications and added-value products can be further developed if marine data and information are efficiently utilised. An improved availability of information on data sources and data holdings, together with a co-ordinated data accessibility, is the most effective way of maximising the use of existing data.

The Physical Oceanography Unit is the local entity that is endeavouring to promote these principles following the guidelines and acting within the framework of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) system of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). The PO-Unit is seeking to qualify this role by becoming the official National Oceanographic Data Centre. The responsibilities covered under this function are:

•  Archival of data and data rescue  •

The PO-Unit provides support to local entities involved in marine research and monitoring to collect and maintain oceanographic data according to international standards. The PO-Unit plays the role of keeping track of ocean observations made in the vicinity of the Maltese islands. Data collected by individual scientists, local agencies and governmental departments is primarily kept under the respective sources, and under different often incompatible formats. The PO-Unit aims to identify these data holdings and to bring the data under one database with standardised formats.

•  Data exchange with other NODCs  •

In the past years the PO-Unit has followed and promoted the IODE activities through the organisation of regional meetings and training courses. Contact is kept with local entities involved in marine research and monitoring to disseminate good practices on ocean data acquisition, management and archival. It also gives access to IODE products and provides updates on IODE activities. The experience gained by the PO-Unit through its participation in the MEDAR/MEDATLAS project will be transmitted to the local scientific community through planned seminars and training courses.

The PO-Unit also supports the MedGOOS Secretariat established under IOI-Malta Operational Centre in promoting oceanographic data and information exchange in the Mediterranean.

Location of the NODCs (National Oceanographic Data Centres) and DNAs (Designated National Agencies) in the IODE system

•  Data products  •

The PO-Unit maintains the Malta Blue Pages on the WWW. This oceanographic database is still in its early stages, but is intended to become the future reference point for information on national oceanographic data holdings as well as access to the data itself.

The Malta Blue Pages is set up to act as a portal to data and information about key marine observations. If your organisation is a source of marine data, you are welcome to include information on your data holdings on the Malta Blue Pages. This will entitle you to a presence on our web databases and help you to make optimal use of your data. Please submit your data/information by the online facility or by contacting directly the webmaster.


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