Saturday, July 17, 2010

Crowdsourcing ocean navigation data

MCZ project interactive map

The Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 created a new type of Marine Protected Area (MPA), called a Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ).
Together with other types of existing MPAs in England, MCZs will help to deliver the Government's aim for an 'ecologically coherent network of well managed Marine Protected Areas'.

What is the MCZ Project Interactive Map?

The Interactive Map is a web based Geographic Information System, which is essentially a way of displaying interactive maps online.
The MCZ Project Interactive Map allows you to view maps of the United Kingdom and display additional relevant information above it, using layers selected from our marine spatial planning database.
The tool also allows you to add your own information to the map by drawing and labelling areas that you use or have information about.

Using the Interactive Map to achieve two goals:
  1. To communicate the diversity and range of information that is being used by the MCZ Project. We hope that you find the investigation of the spatial data to be an interesting experience and that you discover more about the relationship between mankind and the coasts and seas of the United Kingdom.
  2. To collect information from stakeholders who are using the seas around England; these include groups such as sea anglers, divers, wildlife watchers, charterboat owners, recreation and leisure users as well as commercial fishermen. Using the Interactive Map, users and commercial fishermen. Using the Intercative Map, users can draw and label areas they use or places where they know certain species and habitats occur.
The Marine Conservation Zone Map is an online crowd-sourcing map project that allows different users to participate through marking-up how they are using the marine environment and coast lines. Several individual layers are included in the project.
The demand for information on status and trends of the European environment is continuously increasing.
The general public, decision makers and researchers are major interest groups in this context.

Other crowdsourcing projet : TeamSurv, the do-it-yourself survey project.

TeamSurv is a self-help community that shares depth and position information, collected from the boat’s own GPS and depth sounder, as you go about your normal cruising.

How does it work?
  1. As a TeamSurv data logger, the user is provided with a data logger that automatically records the data from your instruments. If you use a PC on board then this is a software logger, or otherwise we will loan you a hardware logger. During each trip a log file is automatically created, and once ashore you upload it to the TeamSurv web site.
  2. The logged data is loaded into our database and then corrected for various factors, including tide and sea level height. Tracks and point data can then be displayed overlaid over Google Maps.
  3. As we collect more data for an area, we will be able to convert it into a bathymetric model and create a detailed chart. All data is made anonymous, so privacy is assured.
TeamSurv welcomes data submitted from anywhere in the world, but to ensure that TeamSurv uses the project's resources well the project is initially concentrating on a number of trial areas, e.g. in the UK this is from Poole to Chichester on the South Coast, and the Thames Estuary to the Wash on the East coast.
Within these areas TeamSurv can supply the hardware loggers on free loan, and these will be the first areas for which TeamSurv will be producing charts.
Outside of the trial areas the user is free to use the software logger, or to purchase a hardware logger.

But an important question remains regarding all these crowsourcing data for their contributors : what kind of data license is used for these different projects ?
Open Database License (ODbL) would be an excellent initiative and would also help to develop another crowsourcing project : OpenSeaMap.

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