Nekton's Launch of First Open-sourced Global Ocean Data Portal
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-05-15
"OCTOPUS (The Ocean Tool for Public Understanding and Science) launched today by Nekton to begin a new era of collaborative marine research and improved ocean governance. OCTOPUS provides a single source to freely access the latest global marine data. OCTOPUS dynamically harvests and harmonises open-access marine data including oceanographic observations, biodiversity and human stressors on the ocean. Its objective is to support scientific study and decision-making for the improved management of the ocean. Despite having collected more data on the ocean in the last two years than in all previous years combined, the sustainable governance of the ocean is still being hampered by both a lack of critical data, and inadequate access to existing data. Where information exists, databases at national and international level are fragmented, and often incompatible and difficult to access without a high level of computational or scientific skill. OCTOPUS Founder, Professor Alex Rogers, Nekton Science Director, University of Oxford considers OCTOPUS to be a critical contribution to global ocean data infrastructure: "OCTOPUS enables scientists, policy makers and the general public to have open-access to a wide variety of current and high quality marine data to inform and catalyse their activities. In effect, it is a gateway to knowledge on marine ecosystems. We hope it can become the data brain to inform and accelerate the sustainable governance of the ocean," he says. One of the first applications is to identify proposed Marine Protected Areas in the High Seas to inform the negotiations on a new implementing agreement for the United Nations Law of the Sea. OCTOPUS is created as an open-access portal for the scientific and ocean governance communities to utilise freely and develop new applications using its analytical tools...."