As a way to better understand their remit, “sea basin checkpoints” can be regarded as overarching observing systems. What they observe is the whole realm of marine data distributed among a great number of organizations, people and places and in a variety of systems addressing many different purposes. This massive amount of data is something that features a lot of natural variability in terms of data appropriateness and conditions of availability for users’ applications. Data are partially and not homogeneously described either by metadata or by web pages and documentation within their repositories, which makes a first filter on data actual content and quality and introduces uncertainty as to what the data sets really are.
EU initiatives supporting the blue economy
The integrated checkpoint service is driven by two types of access/usage, public one and restricted for project use (challenges partners, experts and contributors). The public service served primarily institutional policy-makers on one side to data producers and data providers on the other side to improve the adequacy of existing monitoring systems for the scope of the EU maritime strategy. They are the main usage drivers.
The checkpoint audience
For institutional policy makers, the checkpoint service should provide support for steering committee and decision making on observations monitoring and data management / dissemination infrastructure. This has be done by developing checkpoint e-services ingesting metadata and delivering indicators and statistics for focusing on priorities, by challenge, by category of characteristics, by level of data after transformation process, and any type of relevant criterion (e.g. geographical area, elevation range, period of time, resolution…), highlighting gaps of the monitoring in addition to fact sheets and expert reports with proposed solutions.
For the other categories, it should help them to grasp how their data collected could fit other uses than their initial purpose, or demonstrate the potential of innovative applications thanks to the availability of upstream data sets. To this end the checkpoint challenges are going to analyze the fitness-for-use of the upstream data according to the requirements they specify to produce the thematic products mandated by the EMODnet tender. The regional checkpoint has thus developed checkpoint e-service with indicators yielding feedback on availability and appropriateness of the upstream data described in the checkpoint catalogue all need information to evaluate fitness for use.