Industry News

OceanWise Scottish Marine Data Workshop – A Great Success!

OceanWise ran another of their popular free-to-attend Marine Data Workshops last week (25th of April 2019) at The Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Attendees of this year’s Scottish Workshop were rewarded with an informative program of presentations covering a wide of topics around marine data and information. Speaking to a full house of over 40 delegates, Mark Simmonds from the British Ports Association (BPA) highlighted the opportunities available to large and small ports alike, as they start to embrace modern digital ways of working, known as ‘digitalization’, and explained many of challenges that they face to achieve this. The Dynamic Coast project, presented by Magdalena Low, from Ordnance Survey’s Edinburgh office, and Jim Hansom from the University of Glasgow, is assessing the changing Scottish coastline, including on how these changes may be impacted by climate change. The presentation and subsequent comments identified the benefits that would be gained from harmonizing OceanWise’s marine and Ordnance Survey land mapping.

An overview of Marine Scotland’s excellent Open Data Network was provided by Martyn Cox, who highlighted what can be achieved using predominantly open source software, a clear vision and a great deal of enthusiasm and patience. The network, which includes the National Marine Plan Interactive (NMPi) map interface includes OceanWise Marine Themes and Raster Charts XL data.

Alan Moore provided an historical perspective on the geospatial information business, highlighting the need to talk in terms that the lay person can understand, and concluding that the GI sector is growing with opportunities for proprietary and open source software.

It is often said, including by Mark Simmonds, that greatest challenge to improving how organizations improve how they manage their data and information is people. As a consequence, John Pepper’s presentation on how to implement successful Change’ was extremely relevant. The presentation is a key area that OceanWise includes in its Data Management Awareness Courses delivered in conjunction with IMarEST.

After a wonderful lunch provided by RSE, Liam Mason, also of Marine Scotland, provided an unusual look at the need to consider how digital data is portrayed on screen and paper, for example the benefits of selecting color palettes that are relevant to users, including those that are visually impaired. Emma Diffley of EDINA followed Liam and explained how OceanWise’s Marine Mapping is being made available to universities and colleges across the UK. With record number of subscribers this service is going from strength to strength.

In his summing up of the day, OceanWise’s Managing Director, Dr Mike Osborne, identified ‘harmonization’ as a common theme from a seemingly disparate yet relevant set of presentations. This theme applied equally to harmonizing datasets held by different departments and organizations, and within different applications, and to harmonizing business management systems and workflows by considering data and data governance as a key driver. Mike thanked the speakers and delegates for attending an informative day, made more enjoyable by the sun shining on this glorious city.

The full program of speakers and presentations can be found on the OceanWise event page at

OceanWise run several free-to-attend workshops every year as a service to those working with, or with an interest in, marine data and GIS. These Workshops are an excellent opportunity to network, share experiences with government and industry experts and practitioners, as well as finding out how GIS and spatial data management delivers real value and benefit!

To register your interest for the next Workshop (to be held on November 26th in London) or to discuss taking one of the speaking slots, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Registration and the event page, including the draft program, will open in July 2019.

Story by OceanWise

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