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The future of marine GIS

Thanks to Open Data, the possibility of completing new and innovative research, that provides fresh solutions to old issues, is now open to the whole GI community


The Government’s initiative over recent years to make more data available as ‘Open Data’ has opened up greater possibilities for the marine science community. The principle of 'collect once, use many times' is well-established, and could be applied to marine spatial data, where collection can be costly.

The release of spatial data through portals such as the UKHO Inspire portal, The Crown Estate’s Marine Data Exchange, and the Environment Agency’s GeoStore, make years of high quality marine Geographic Information (GI) data available. The possibilities to complete new and innovative research providing fresh solutions to old issues is now open to the whole GI community using these sources of Open Data.

This trend can only increase over the next five to ten years, as more data is made available and the marine GI community gains confidence in completing complicated analysis on open-source data.

At the request of the Association for Geographic Information, ABPmer will contribute to the 2020 Foresight Report. An ABPmer White Paper will shortly be released, giving insight to the future of Marine GIS, specifically over the next five years, focussing on how the growth of Open Data sources could shape the future of marine GI studies.

For more information on the 2020 Foresight Report, visit the AGI website.

Update 15/12/15: our White Paper and the 2020 Foresight report are now available.