Marine data management and GIS specialist OceanWise has delivered its third course on Data Management, Database Design and Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure (MSDI) Capacity Building to the East Asia Hydrographic Commission (EAHC). The course was facilitated and hosted by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and supported by Esri Inc, which undertook the practical elements of the course using Esri’s range of hydrographic production and MSDI software.
Students from Japan, China, Vietnam, Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei and Singapore gathered to learn more about the four ‘pillars’ of MSDI, namely Policy and Governance (People), Technical Standards, Information Systems (ICT) and Geographic Content (Data and Metadata). As well as exploring the theoretical aspects of MSDI, break out and exercise sessions provided practical solutions on best practice data management and exchange, data interoperability, and cultural and organisational change.
Feedback from students and organisers was again extremely positive and highlighted the realisation of how important a regional, as well as national and organisational, approach to MSDI is to the EAHC and its Member States. This realisation has contributed to the recent creation of a Training Centre of Excellence in Busan, Republic of Korea to serve the needs of the region.
In developing a more inclusive approach to the use and benefits of hydrographic data, EAHC is now well placed to move from a theoretical understanding of MSDI to one of practical implementation. This shift of attitude will not only support the needs of the wider maritime and marine community, in terms of environmental protection and economic development, but is expected to result in operational efficiencies and support the development of advanced navigational products and services across the EAHC region.
It is now understood and appreciated that hydrography is no longer just about the provision of charts and nautical publications but about working in concert with other geospatial data and information providers and communities to deliver greater support to socio economic development and the ‘blue economy’. That way the value of hydrography to the wider community will be truly realized.