The fourth meeting of the IHO Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure Working Group (MSDIWG) took place from January 31 to February 1, 2013 in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was preceded on January 30 by an MSDI Open Forum. Both events were held at the Danish Geodata Agency (GST) and were chaired by Mr. Jens Peter Hartmann, of GST. The aim of both events was to reactivate IHO consideration of MSDI and to propose ways to progress MSDI implementation within the organization and its Member States. This was the first MSDIWG meeting since 2009.
More than 30 people, including CARIS representatives, attended the two meetings, as well as some via webcast. IHO participants were mostly from Europe, representing Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Spain (web) and United Kingdom. Attendees also came from Argentina, Japan, Suriname and USA (web). There was also a good level of participation by experts from industry, academia and from the European Union (web). Assistant Director Michel Huet attended from the IHB.
MSDI Open Forum
Various presentations, many of them given by external stakeholders, illustrated the technical, organizational, policy, educational and scientific aspects of MSDI. The associated discussions resulted in the identification of a number of challenges facing the MSDIWG, as well as the opportunities that exist for the hydrographic community and the role it plays in supporting social and economic development worldwide.
MSDI Working Group
The fourth MSDIWG meeting heard reports on national status and plans regarding MSDI-related activities. It was apparent that any developments within the European hydrographic offices are linked to the mandatory implementation of the Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE) Directive. Also, national SDI developments, of which MSDI should be an important part, are generally led by the land mapping and cadastral agencies in each country. During the meeting the results of a recent survey on MSDI conducted among hydrographic offices were examined.
As a result, a detailed MSDIWG work plan was developed, divided into four sections: a general approach to MSDI; a review and status report on MSDI; a strategic approach to further MSDI development; and training and communication.