About the Marine GIS
The project initially delivered an online web portal for marine aggregate investigations and surveys (this included MALSF-MEPF project final reports and MALSF-English Heritage Project final reports as well as other aggregate related research).
The project was extended in 2008 to manage the datasets for the MALSF Regional Environmental Characterisation (REC) Data Acquisition survey projects for the Thames and South Coast Regions (datasets comprising of geological and biological survey data and survey operations report).
The project was further extended to 2011 (Round 3 MALSF FY2008/09 - 2010/11) to allow for:
The purpose of the project is to ensure that marine aggregate research attains maximum benefit and addresses policy needs through an improvement in 'knowledge management'. The project provides a web-based facility to hold a live register of research studies structured as a spatial database and, where available, supplies direct links to research outputs. The research topics may be directly related to marine aggregates or associated to another sectoral interest, it may offer a UK context or be developed from an overseas study. The database is designed to recognise planned, current and past activities with associated funding bodies and research institutes. The use of GIS is included to provide a means of assisting search facilities and determining geographic marine areas which may be data rich or data poor.
The project has sourced information from completed research projects and captured metadata fields into a structured database. Where available, digital project deliverables have been obtained and linked to the project metadata. All relevant aggregate projects have been considered, however, the database is prioritised towards research from within UK waters completed since the year 2000. This helps maximise the availability of relevant project metadata and digital deliverables held within the system. Information from current marine aggregate projects has also been entered into the database. All research project information is stored as metadata which conforms to the UK GEMINI metadata specification that has been adopted for the project.
The primary project deliverable is this website where research project information is accessed through an intuitive front-end including a search facility with provision for standard bibliographic keywords (title, abstract, date, leader, distributor) and an option for visual 'map-based' data queries. Direct links to PDF digital project reports have been provided where available. The visual search facility is presented using a web-enabled Geographic Information System. Public users are required to log-on before viewing detailed information from system, which enables the monitoring of website usage. Registered users are also able to add references to current research projects into the database by completing online metadata forms and further functionality facilitates the upload of user project reports. This enables the dissemination of project information to a wider community and also ensures that the database will remain as a contemporary resource providing up-to-date information about the latest marine aggregate research projects.