Saturday, August 18, 2018

An English map of the Kingdom of France is represented under the form of a ship.

Relief shown pictorially. - Also shows administrative divisions (departments). 
Text, calendar, and map names in English. Index of departments in French. 
Title from first sentence of text at lower left. 
"Published as the act directs, June 28th 1796, by the author, no. 49 Great Portland Street." 
Paris meridian. 
Watermark: 1794 J. Whatman.
Library of Congress

Friday, August 17, 2018

‘They be pirates’ : An old scourge is reappearing in the Caribbean

These fisherman are on the lookout for pirates Fishermen in Trinidad and Tobago fish close to shore or risk becoming easy prey for pirates taking advantage of the instability in nearby Venezuela. 
(Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

From WashingtonPost by Anthony Faiola | Photo and video by Jahi Chikwendiu

CEDROS, Trinidad and Tobago —
In the flickers of sunlight off the cobalt blue of the Caribbean sea, the vessel appeared as a cut on the horizon.
It sailed closer.
But the crew of the Asheena took no heed.
“We be lookin’ for our red fish as normal, thinkin’ they be fishin’, too,” said Jimmy Lalla, 36, part of the crew that had dropped lines in Trinidadian waters last April a few miles off the lawless Venezuelan coast.

The other vessel kept approaching.
“They be needin’ help?” Lalla recalled wondering as it pulled aside their 28-foot pirogue.
A short, sinewy man jumped on board, shouting in Spanish and waving a pistol.
“Then we knowin’,” Lalla said.
“They be pirates.”

Fisherman Jimmy Lalla, 36, moves a bike at his home near the water in Woodland, Trinidad.
He and the first mate on their fishing vessel fled a pirate attack by jumping overboard; the boat’s captain was kidnapped and is still missing.

Centuries after Blackbeard’s cannons fell silent and the Jolly Roger came down from rum ports across the Caribbean, the region is confronting a new and less romanticized era of pirates.

Political and economic crises are exploding from Venezuela to Nicaragua to Haiti, sparking anarchy and criminality.
As the rule of law breaks down, certain spots in the Caribbean, experts say, are becoming more dangerous than they’ve been in years.

Often, observers say, the acts of villainy appear to be happening with the complicity or direct involvement of corrupt officials — particularly in the waters off collapsing Venezuela.
“It’s criminal chaos, a free-for-all, along the Venezuelan coast,” said Jeremy McDermott, co-director of Insight Crime, a nonprofit organization that studies organized crime in Latin America and the Caribbean.

A raincoated fisherman walks through the mist on the beach in Trinidad as a boat makes its way to shore.

A Trinidadian coast guard vessel patrols the Gulf of Paria between Trinidad and the east coast of Venezuela.
Fishermen work off the coast of Trinidad.
The region has experienced a surge in piracy.
Crew members inspect the haul.
Theirs is legal; other boats plying the same waters engage in smuggling.

A raincoated fisherman walks through the mist on the beach in Trinidad as a boat makes its way to shore.
Comprehensive data on piracy is largely lacking for Latin America and the Caribbean.
But a two-year study by the nonprofit Oceans Beyond Piracy recorded 71 major incidents in the region in 2017 — including robberies of merchant vessels and attacks on yachts — up 163 percent from the previous year.
The vast majority happened in Caribbean waters.

 Caribbean waters with the GeoGarage platform (NGA charts)

The incidents range from glorified muggings on the high seas to barbaric attacks worthy of 17th-century pirates.
In April, for instance, masked men boarded four Guyanese fishing boats floating 30 miles off the coast of the South American nation.
The crews, according to survivors’ accounts, were doused with hot oil, hacked with machetes and thrown overboard, then their boats were stolen.
Of the 20 victims, five survived; the rest died or were left unaccounted for.

David Granger, the president of Guyana, decried the attack as a “massacre.”
Guyanese authorities have suggested that it could have been linked to gang violence in neighboring Suriname.
“They said they would take the boat and that everyone should jump overboard,” survivor Deonarine Goberdhan, 47, told Reuters.
After being beaten and thrown in the sea, he said, “I tried to keep my head above water so I could get air. I drank a lot of salt water. I looked to the stars and moon. I just hoped and prayed.”

 A Trinidadian coast guard vessel patrols the Gulf of Paria between Trinidad and the est coast of Venezuela

There have been reports of piracy over the past 18 months near Honduras, Nicaragua, Haiti and St.
But nowhere has the surge been more notable, analysts say, than off the coast of Venezuela.

An economic crisis in the South American country has sent inflation soaring toward 1 million percent, making food and medicine scarce.
Malnutrition is spreading; disease is rampant; water and power grids are failing from a lack of trained staff and spare parts.
Police and military are abandoning their posts as their paychecks become nearly worthless.
Under the socialist government of President Nicolás Maduro, repression and corruption have increased. 

The conditions are compelling some Venezuelans to take desperate action.
One Venezuelan port official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to address official corruption, said that Venezuelan coast guard officers have been boarding anchored vessels and demanding money and food.
He said commercial ships, in response, are increasingly anchoring farther off the coast, and turning off their motors and lights to avoid being seen at night.

 Fishermen work off the coast of Trinidad.
The region has experienced a surge in piracy.

It doesn’t always work.
In July, one vessel from the local company Conferry, which offers freight services to nearby Venezuelan islands, was raided by three men brandishing knives and guns near the port of Guanta.
Four crew members were left tied up for hours while food and electronics were stolen.

In January in Puerto La Cruz, also on the northeast coast, seven armed burglars boarded an anchored tanker.
They tied up the vessel’s guard on duty, then robbed its stores.
Similar incidents have been reported in the months since, according to the Commercial Crime Services division of the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce.

 Trinidad & Tobago with the GeoGarage platform (UKHO chart)

Trinidad and Tobago, an island nation of 1.4 million people within eyeshot of the Venezuelan coast, has long worried about crime emanating from its neighbor.
Since the 1990s, drug smugglers have shipped marijuana and Colombian cocaine from Venezuelan ports to Trinidad, and from there to other Caribbean countries and beyond.

Trafficking and piracy, locals say, have recently been expanding and becoming more violent.
Five Trinidadian fishermen in the southern port of Cedros, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing fear for their safety, said in interviews that they had witnessed a burst of Venezuelan boats arriving in recent months smuggling military-issue guns as well as drugs, women and exotic animals.
“Sometimes, those Venezuelans are willing to trade the guns and animals for food,” said one 41-year-old fisherman.

Another fisherman said he was held for hours in January by Spanish-speaking pirates while his brother was contacted to pay a $500 ransom.
A Trinidadian coast guard vessel was dispatched to patrol the waters this year after several high-profile incidents of smuggling and piracy.
But locals say the criminals simply wait until the patrol passes, and then they act.
Trinidadian authorities did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Fishermen watch a boat, which they suspect is being used by smugglers, speed toward Trinidad from Venezuela.

Opposition politicians, however, are decrying a surge in piracy.
They also say that the flow of automatic weapons from Venezuela — some of which appear to be coming from military stores — is contributing to a swelling homicide rate in Trinidad.
“This reminds me of how the problems started off the coast of eastern Africa,” said Roodal Moonilal, a lawmaker from the opposition United National Congress party, referring to a sharp rise in ship hijackings off the coast of lawless Somalia several years ago.
“What we’re seeing — the piracy, the smuggling — it’s the result of Venezuela’s political and economic collapse.”

For those who make their living plying the warm waters of the Caribbean, piracy is a new source of fear.
These days, locals are fishing closer to shore, and sometimes at night, to avoid the risk of attacks.

On the April afternoon when the Asheena was boarded, Lalla said, he was terrified.
“The man talkin’ Spanish, he point the gun at me, then he point at the water. I be knowin’. He be wantin’ that I jump,” he said.
So he leaped overboard.
The first mate — Narendra Sankar, 22 — followed him moments later.
The men were swimming toward an offshore oil rig when Sankar suffered a cramp.
“I had already reached the rig, so I had to be jumpin’ back in, to help him,” Lalla said.
“He was goin’ to be drownin’.”

They watched as the pirates seized their vessel, outfitted with two expensive outboard motors.
Their captain, Andell Plummer, was still aboard.
The two men were rescued from the water by a passing fishing boat.
When they reported the attack to authorities, Lalla said, they were told: “We have no boat to go after them; we can do nothing.”

There has been no word of Plummer since, the men say.
Trinidad’s Ministry of National Security did not respond to a request for comment about his case.
“My boy, they take him!” said the captain’s father, Deoraj Balsingh, 58, standing by a muddy Trinidadian dock surrounded by boats.
“We don’t know,” Balsingh said.
“We don’t know if he livin’ or if he dead.”

Deoraj Balsingh, 58, still awaits word on the fate of his kidnapped son, captain Andell Plummer.

Links :

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Models may help reduce bycatch from longline fishing

Fourteen environmental variables are combined in a model that predicts monthly locations of longline fishing fleets.
The model should help prevent accidental bycatch of sharks, seabirds and other species.
Credit: Duke Univ. Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab

From Phys

Hundreds of thousands of sharks, sea birds and other marine species are accidentally killed each year after they become snagged or entangled in longline fishing gear.

New models developed by a Duke University-led team may help reduce this threat by giving regulatory agencies a powerful new tool to predict the month-by-month movements of longline fishing fleets on the high seas.
The predictions should help determine where and when the boats will enter waters where by-catch risks are greatest.

"By comparing our models with data showing where by-catch species are likely to be each month, ship captains, national agencies and regional fisheries management organizations can pinpoint potential hotspots they may want to temporarily avoid or place off-limits," said Guillermo Ortuño Crespo, a doctoral candidate in the Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment.
"This represents a movement away from a reactive approach to fisheries management—where we only know about problems as or after they occur—to a more proactive approach that helps us stay one step ahead of the game," he said.

The average coefficient of variation of predicted high seas fishing suitability for 2015 and 2016.
Tropical latitudes show, on average, more predictive stability throughout the study period, whereas temperate and subpolar waters show higher degrees of variability of suitable habitat.
Gray areas around coastlines depict EEZs excluded from this study.
Data are from GFW.

Ortuño Crespo and his colleagues describe their new models in a peer-reviewed paper August 8 in Science Advances.

To devise the models, they collaborated with Global Fishing Watch to collect geospatial information from individual boats' automatic identification system (AIS) signals.
AIS data shows the movements and distribution of longline fishing fleets operating in the high seas in 2015 and 2016.

Then they statistically correlated each ship's fishing efforts to 14 environmental variables—such as sea surface temperatures or distance to the nearest seamount—that influence a region's seasonal suitability as a habitat for species targeted by longliners.
This allowed them to create highly accurate models that predict where the fishing fleets will be each month of the year.

The new models track data for fleets from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China and Spain, which accounts for most of the longline fishing currently taking place in the open ocean beyond national jurisdictions.
Future models could include fleets from other nations and offer expanded functionality that will allow regulatory agencies to view the data within a global context or break it down by individual nation, region or fleet.

"If we can provide this level of information, it becomes a highly practical management tool for the agencies charged with managing fishing on the high seas," Ortuño Crespo said.

In longline fishing, hundreds or even thousands of individual fishing lines with baited hooks are hung off a main line that can extend for miles across the sea.
Fishermen typically use longline gear to catch swordfish, tuna and other commercially valuable fish that live in the upper depths of the open sea, but the bait also attracts non-targeted marine species such as sharks and sea birds, which get snagged on the hooks or entangled in the lines.

"Blue sharks, mako sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks, thresher sharks and silky sharks are among the species most frequently killed by longlines, and some of them are listed as species of concern on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species," Ortuño Crespo said.
"The industry has made great strides in developing safer gear, but hundreds of thousands of animals are still being killed each year."

Getting the new models into the hands of regulators, industry leaders and policymakers is critical, and time is of the essence, said Patrick N. Halpin, professor of marine geospatial ecology at Duke and a co-author of the study
"Climate change and fishing pressures are the two main drivers of ecological impacts in the open ocean, and there is a possibility that neither of them will be part of United Nations negotiations this September on protecting marine biodiversity beyond national jurisdictions," Halpin said.
"Some countries, especially those that do a lot of deep-sea fishing, do not want to include fisheries in the discussions.
We hope our findings will help change their attitudes."

Links :

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Giraglia 2018 : the spirit of yachting

The 66th edition of the Rolex Giraglia takes place from 8 – 16 June and marks the 20th anniversary of Rolex's involvement with the event.
Organized by the Yacht Club Italiano, with the support of the Société Nautique de Saint-Tropez, this internationally renowned competition regularly attracts an impressive fleet of over 250 yachts.
A major fixture in the Mediterranean yachting season, the Rolex Giraglia offers both inshore and offshore racing serving up the perfect blend of camaraderie and competition.

The Rolex Giraglia is a true festival of sailing.
Saint-Tropez provides an elegant and exclusive setting for the start of this offshore yacht race, which regularly draws an impressively global fleet of over 250 crews.
Following arrival races, the fleet gathers in Saint-Tropez for three days of inshore competition before embarking on a 241-nautical mile offshore race to Genoa, Italy via the Giraglia rock, an imposing outcrop of historic navigational importance off Corsica.
The Rolex Giraglia is more than a yacht race, it is also a symbol of friendship between countries, sailors and yacht clubs. 

Links :

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Open to change: how Open Data will save our oceans

all pictures from 

From Nor Shipping by Kent Erik Kristiansen

We can choose.
Share our maritime data, prosper, create value and safeguard our oceans.
Or keep it to ourselves and slowly stagnate, both commercially and environmentally.
Steven Adler says it’s time to act.

It’s difficult to eat when you’re discussing a subject you burn for.
Steven Adler, a global pioneer in the field of data strategy and governance, has been trying to get a bite of his burger for the last ten minutes.
The problem is, every time there’s a break in conversation a new thought fires from his cerebral cortex, reaching his mouth before the rapidly cooling food does.
“Look, people you don’t know will have insights you can’t imagine,” he says, as a slither of lettuce slides out from the edge of the bun hovering in his hands.
“There are seven billion people on the planet and I guarantee that some of them will have ideas for your data you haven’t come up with, to do things you won’t be able to do.”

Open data is the subject.
Or why, more precisely, the maritime industry must, and he stresses must, follow a wider business and societal trend and share the huge volume of data it collects.

Value creation

“The value of any data is directly proportional to its utility – if you want to increase the value of data you have to increase its use,” he stresses.
“One maritime organization collecting data for its own purposes can never maximize the value of that data.
For one thing they can only compare it to their own data and, even if you’re a company with a lot of ships, you only have a tiny proportion of the 80,000 vessels in the world fleet.
That means your observations and insights will be very narrow.

“What’s more, one business on its own could never anticipate all the uses their data could be put to if made available to others.
It’s also a waste of money for vessels to collect the same data as one another.
Different ships sailing the same routes, but owned by different companies, could add geo temporal and geo spatial value and create rich new data that could help us all understand how our oceans are changing over time.
When everyone shares open data, everyone wins.”

Any shipowners or managers reading this may now be thinking ‘but why should we share our data with the competition, that’s hardly smart?’
But hold on for a second, we’ll get to that.

Leading the way

Adler knows what he’s talking about.
A veteran of his field, he spent 21 years at IBM, ending up as Chief Data Strategist, patenting the IBM Enterprise Privacy Architecture and helping lead and communicate the global giant’s overall corporate vision.
He is recognized as a prime mover in the establishment of the fields of Internet Insurance, Data Governance, Data Strategy and People Data, and in 2015 was appointed to the US Commerce Department Data Advisory Council (CDAC), the nation’s first Federal Advisory Council focused on how data could improve economic growth.
He has also, amongst other roles and achievements, been the Chief Data Officer for the City of Medellin in Columbia, helping it create and implement an open data strategy. It’s hardly surprising lunch is taking second place.

Empowering change

“Look at what the open data movement has achieved in the civic environment,” he says.
“This is a simple idea embraced by most major cities around the world – making their data open relating to issues such as transportation routes, public services, arrest rates and so on, so it’s available to anyone that wants to access and use it.
Suddenly we see it being leveraged by third parties, for example by software vendors that utilise it to create important new services, jobs, innovations and wealth.

“How? Well, real estate applications that use census data to provide prospective homebuyers with information on neighbourhoods.
Or restaurant guides that use food hygiene inspection data as part of recommendation criteria.
Or civic planning groups that open up planning applications to the community for opinions and expert input on new developments and their impacts and advantages for local areas.
Look at your phone – how many of your apps use openly available data to provide you with valuable services?
“This is a good thing. A very good thing. Societies benefit and businesses benefit in ways that those that originally gave access to the data could never possibly have imagined.”

He notes such examples are public sector entities providing Open Data funded by taxpayers and, in doing so, empowering business to grow.
“Now we need the private sector to step up and publish open data about the oceans in real time… and we need this urgently.
If we don’t act, and get a lot of things right in the next 10 years, we face catastrophic biodiversity loss in our oceans.”

Priceless potential

Adler stresses that, with the proliferation of sensors and digital technology now available, more data has been collected on the oceans in the past two years than in the entire history of the planet prior to that.
But if it’s not shared then it’s value will never be realized.
On the subject of privacy he is quick to clarify that maritime and ocean businesses will not, and should not, be asked to share either business critical or personal data.
“We don’t want that, we don’t need that,” he states.
“We want the information that they, that you, are collecting on our world.”
Adler sees ships as platforms just waiting to be utilised to help us to manage, and essentially save, our fragile ocean environments.
He believes the data they collect can be pooled to unlock unique insights into the state of the ocean, the trends in its development, and the ways in which we can exploit resources while actually safeguarding and supporting its well-being.
“The data collected could be priceless,” he opines.
“Not only can we continue to refine energy efficiency and performance, but we can gain in-depth knowledge of temperature variations, tidal flows, plastic pollution, weather pattern development, deoxygenation, new marine life… the list goes on.
“We can use existing and new technology to help manage fish stocks, create safer and more efficient vessel movements, position wind and tidal farms, open up new tourism possibilities, develop smart aquaculture, protect urban coastal zones… to develop ocean activity in not only a sensible, responsible manner, but in an informed, intelligent way, with concrete data to enable better decision making.
The value of the data is only limited by our imagination.
And if there’s potentially seven billion imaginations that can access it, then that value is…”
He stops.
Takes a bite of the burger and, smiling, ruminates for a few tantalising seconds.
“…Almost unlimited.”

Leaders from across the political, economic, environmental and risk sectors gathered in Bermuda for the first Ocean Risk Summit on May 08-10, 2018.
The event presented high-level speakers providing expert data, analysis and innovative tools to help participants identify potential exposures to ocean risk and prepare to tackle its broad-ranging consequences.
Together, attendees at the summit helped to generate new and dynamic solutions.
Inevitable shift

Adler, who stepped down from IBM last year, and now enjoys a number of advisory and consultant roles, is speaking after an invitation from Nor-Shipping to participate in its ground-breaking Opening Oceans Conference (OOC).
This focused on developing new, lucrative and sustainable business opportunities within the ocean environment.
His message to the audience, and to everyone attending Nor-Shipping next year (taking place in Oslo and Lillestrøm, Norway, from 04 to 07 June 2019), as well as the wider maritime industry, is simple: “Share. And the sooner the better.”

“Within the next three years the maritime and ocean industries will establish a culture of sharing data,” he predicts.
“It’s inevitable. The benefits it will bring for sustainability, both environmentally and commercially, are simply too great to ignore. We have the infrastructure to do it today – it’s called the cloud – and the curiosity, talent and determination of countless millions of minds to extract real value from it.
So, what are waiting for?
Let’s unleash the power of your data.

Links :

Monday, August 13, 2018

Scientists reveal submarine canyon on edge of Ireland's continental shelf

The Porcupine Bank Canyon showing several hundred metre-high cliffs.
Credit: University College Cork

From Phys

A group of scientists from across the globe have revealed the stunning details of a submarine canyon on the edge of the country's continental shelf, after mapping an area twice the size of Malta.

Read more at:
A group of scientists from across the globe have revealed the stunning details of a submarine canyon on the edge of the country's continental shelf, after mapping an area twice the size of Malta.

The group will return tomorrow morning (August 10) after a research expedition onboard the RV Celtic Explorer with Holland I ROV, led by University College Cork (UCC) in Ireland, mapping 1800 km2 of seabed to image the upper canyon over a fortnight.
The find is significant in understanding more about how submarine canyon helps transport carbon to the deep ocean.
Although there is excess CO2 in the atmosphere (the greenhouse effect), the ocean is absorbing this at the surface, and canyons pump this into the deep ocean where it cannot get back into the atmosphere.

 Map showing proposed survey locations for the CoCoHaCa2 survey

Porcupine Bank with the GeoGarage platform (UKHO map)

INFOMAR is a seabed mapping project
run jointly by the Marine Institute and the Geological Survey of Ireland

The expedition, led by Dr. Aaron Lim of UCC's School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES), utilises the Marine Institute's Holland 1 Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and state-of-the-art mapping technologies to reveal the nature of the canyon.
"This is a vast submarine canyon system, with near-vertical 700m cliff in places and going as deep as 3000m. You could stack 10 Eiffel towers on top of each other in there," said Dr. Lim (BEES-UCC), "So far from land this canyon is a natural laboratory from which we feel the pulse of the changing Atlantic."

Cold water corals on the rim of the Porcupine Bank Canyon.
Credit: University College Cork According to Dr. Lim, this discovery coupled with recent findings on the Irish-Atlantic margin shows the advances in both Ireland's marine technology and scientific workforce.

"Ireland is world-class, and for a small country we punch above our weight."
The Porcupine Bank Canyon is the westernmost submarine canyon on the contiguous Irish margin 320 km west of Dingle and exits onto the abyssal plain at 4000m water depth.
The upper canyon is full of cold-water corals forming reefs and mounds which create a rim on the lip of the canyon 30m tall and 28 km long.
The coral reefs on the rim of the canyon eventually break off and slide down into the canyon where they form an accumulation of coral rubble deeper within the canyon.
The ROV ventured deeper into the canyon and found significant build-ups of coral debris that have fallen from hundreds of meters above.

A flag planted at the Porcupine Bank Canyon.
Credit: University College Cork This is all about transporting carbon stored cold water corals into the deep.

The corals get their carbon from dead plankton raining down from the ocean surface so ultimately from our atmosphere," said Professor Andy Wheeler, School of BEES, UCC, and the Irish Centre for Research in Applied Geosciences (iCRAG).
"Increasing CO2 concentrations in our atmosphere are causing our extreme weather; oceans absorb this CO2 and canyons are a rapid route for pumping it into the deep ocean where it is safely stored away."
The new detailed maps show lobes of sediment debris and the scars from submarine slides as the canyon walls collapse.
There is also exposure of old crustal bedrock and incised channels in the canyon floor carved by sediment avalanches.

What the Porcupine Bank Canyon would look like with the sea drained out with steep cliffed edges and cold-water coral mounds in the top.
Credit: University College Cork

"We took cores with the ROV, and the sediments reveal that although the canyon is quiet now, periodically it is a violent place where the seabed gets ripped up and eroded," added Professor Wheeler.
The new mapping data shows a rim feature along the lip of the canyon at approximately 600m water depth.
"When we sent down the ROV, we saw that this rim is made of a profusion of cold water corals, which appears to extend for miles along the edge of the canyon," said Professor Luis Conti, University of Sao Paulo.

Links :

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The first sea chart of the New Netherlands, 1656

 Title: Pascaarte [pas caarte] van Nieu Nederlandt uytgegeven door Arnold Colom t’ Amsterdam… 
- 1656 -
An early Dutch sea chart of New Netherland with Virginia and New England by Arnold Colom, depicting in detail the Atlantic coast of North America, approximately from today’s Gloucester, Massachusetts to the north, to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina to the southwest.
The main provinces are outlined in a different color and marked as Virginia, Nieu Nederlant, and Nieu Engelant. Early English settlements in New England are clearly identified as Salem, Baston (Boston), Pleymuyt (Plymouth), etc.
New Netherland included territories of today’s states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Vervaardigd in ca. 1684.This map of the current New England was published by Nicolaes Visscher II (1649-1702).
Visscher copied first a map by Jan Janssonius (1588-1664) from 1651 and added a view of New Amsterdam, the current Manhattan.
The map is very accurate: each European town which existed at the time has been represented.

 Today with NOAA nautical raster chart in the GeoGarage platform