The UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) invites UK-based public organizations involved in seabed mapping who share common interests in optimizing the UK’s national maritime assets to become a member of the new UK Center for Seabed Mapping.
The UK Center for Seabed Mapping (UK CSM) is administered by the UKHO and was submitted as a voluntary commitment by the UK Government to the United Nations at the UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal on 27 June 2022.
The UK CSM is on a mission to increase the coverage, quality and access to seabed mapping data collected using public funds, as well as to better promote it as an essential part of infrastructure national. Created to lead a coordinated approach to the collection, management and access to seabed mapping data – and to champion a more integrated marine geospatial sector in the UK – the UK MSC has set up three groups of initial work that members can join and contribute to: National Data Collaboration, International Data Collaboration, and Data Collection Standards.
These working groups will continue to discuss and coordinate data accessibility, collection and collaboration, as well as advance work on data standards, creating the conditions and developing the infrastructure to the diverse community of marine geospatial stakeholders to come together to provide important and sustainable services. , and the strategic benefits for the UK – particularly in the context of the Integrated Review and the overall UK view of Britain.
Twenty-two government agencies have already attended the inaugural meeting of the UK CSM Management Group and have volunteered to participate in the working groups, an encouraging response that shows a great desire to work across industry and to help raise the profile and improve the results of the seabed. cartography.
Commenting on the announcement, David Parker, Head of Hydrographic Programs at UKHO, said:
We are happy to start welcoming UK based organizations with any seabed mapping assignment at the UK Center for Seabed Mapping and would like all relevant organizations to join us.
This important and timely initiative, which supports the UK’s contribution and commitment to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which will take place between 2021 and 2030, will respond to the growing need for a community marine geospatial more collaborative, coherent, autonomous and better promoted. , and we are excited to work with public sector organizations to make this a reality.
Quality marine geospatial data is essential for almost all activities undertaken in the maritime domain, including maritime commerce, environmental and resource management, shipping operations, and national security and infrastructure. Due to the UK’s role as a world leader in seabed mapping, we clearly have an opportunity to establish a collaborative seabed mapping community that coordinates data collection, management and access. financed by public funds. More interoperable and usable data will support more informed ocean governance and policies, which in turn will support greater innovation and prosperity.
In line with fulfilling our public duty, our vision is for the UK MSC to become the key focal point for our seabed mapping community and a unified voice for policy support, with the ability to develop a network of stakeholders and to allow meaningful cross-relationships. government coordination.
The UK MSC will develop specifications that support UK and international standards for marine geospatial data collection. This will provide much-needed consistency and interoperability in the development of the marine geospatial ecosystem – in line with the “collect once, use many times” principle – and provide the private sector with the confidence of direction. The UK CSM will also improve and increase accessibility and enable free access to data while respecting intellectual property (IP) rights, national security and good data governance.
Having a dedicated center will also help stakeholders understand what data collection activities are planned in the future and identify opportunities for collaboration, thereby eliminating duplication and maximizing economies of scale as well as quality and quantity of data collected under current public funding.