HELCOM Maritime Spatial Planning
DATA survey 2013
​A study funded under
​HELCOM Secretariat- ManuelFrias
A brief history of HELCOM Data
01
table of contents
The survey
02
The map service
03
Data
04
​A brief introduction to
HELCOM Data history
Brief
history
4
A brief history of HELCOM Data
​40 years working for a better Baltic Sea.
​HELCOM (Baltic Marine Environment Protection
...
5
​In 1995 the first maps appeared in HELCOM
web page. They were made and hosted by UNEP
GRID ARENDAL, the data division o...
6
​The first time maps showed up in HELCOM web
site was in 2002. The map service was made by
the German Federal Maritime a...
7
​In 2004 something important happened: the Data and Information
Strategy was signed.
​According to this strategy HELCOM ...
8
​From 2004 several data services were published:
introduction
​A brief history of HELCOM Data
2004 2005 2006 2008 2010
M...
​A short introduction
​to the survey
The survey
10
HELCOM DATA Survey
​The HELCOM Data survey has been carried out
between November and December 2013 as part
of a Maritim...
11
HELCOM DATA Survey
​The objective of the survey was to ask for
feedback about HELCOM map and data. We
wanted to know wh...
​Questions related to the
HELCOM map service
The map
service
13
Questions related to the map service
​This section describes and analyzes the questions related
specifically to the HEL...
14
Who answered the survey?38 people have answered the survey which is an increase compared to the previous one in 2009 wh...
15
For what purpose is HELCOM data used?HELCOM data is an excellent place to find information and statistics about the Bal...
16
How often is the map service used?According to the survey the map service is used every 2nd or every 3rd month for the ...
17
How often do users analyze data?Analyzing data from the map service is not so popular. This might be because the map se...
18
How often do users download data?Downloading layers from the service is used mostly occasionally by the respondents. Al...
19
How often do users view data?Viewing data is the preferred option for most of the respondents. More than 75% view data ...
20
Do you access HELCOM data via WMS?WMS (Web Map Service) is a standard way of accessing geodata from any GIS software. T...
21
How user-friendly is the map service?The absolute majority of the respondents think that the service is easy to use. Th...
22
How fast is it?The map service is fast for the majority of respondents. This has also been one of the main priorities o...
23
Is it easy to find and read metadata?Metadata is an important part of the HELCOM data. It shows important info about ho...
24​The map service
​Conclusion
In conclusion, the map service is used mostly for
finding information, for supporting decis...
​An analysis of the questions
related to HELCOM Data
Data
26
Questions related to data in general
​This section describes and analyzes the questions related
to HELCOM Data in gener...
27
Up-to-date data?One of the major strengths of HELCOM is the possibility to find free online data. Unfortunately, and de...
28
Data quality?Most respondents think that the quality of HELCOM data is sufficient for their purposes. 40% think is eith...
29
Most requests about shipping data
​There were 26% requests about data related to shipping. These
requests included for ...
30
Most requests about shipping data
Data
5%
11%
16%
21%
21%
26%
0% 30%
Litter
Links to ICES
Contacts and legislation
Land...
31
Better visualization is missingMost respondents would like to have better visualization of data, for example better leg...
32
​“Very helpful HELCOM
personnel. I know that if
we took an initiative to
include some further data,
HELCOM would try to...
​contact information
​Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission
Katajanokanlaituri 6 B
​FI-00160 Helsinki, Finland
​...
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HELCOM Maritime Spatial Planning data survey 2013

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The objective of the survey was to ask for feedback about HELCOM map and data. We wanted to know what users think about the service, what is good and what can be improved.
We were interested in analysing how the accessibility of data in general and MSP data in particular could be improved from the HELCOM website and the map service.

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HELCOM Maritime Spatial Planning data survey 2013

  1. 1. HELCOM Maritime Spatial Planning DATA survey 2013 ​A study funded under ​HELCOM Secretariat- ManuelFrias
  2. 2. A brief history of HELCOM Data 01 table of contents The survey 02 The map service 03 Data 04
  3. 3. ​A brief introduction to HELCOM Data history Brief history
  4. 4. 4 A brief history of HELCOM Data ​40 years working for a better Baltic Sea. ​HELCOM (Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission - Helsinki Commission) is the governing body of the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, known as the Helsinki Convention. ​HELCOM was established forty years ago to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution through intergovernmental cooperation. ​One of the main roles of HELCOM is to act as a regional focal point providing information about the state of the marine environment, human activities affecting it and the efficiency of policy measures. introduction ​A brief history of HELCOM Data
  5. 5. 5 ​In 1995 the first maps appeared in HELCOM web page. They were made and hosted by UNEP GRID ARENDAL, the data division of the United Nations. ​There were just a few layers of information. Data could be downloaded even though it was mainly background data. ​The masters are set up for prose and have plenty of white space. Each page holds just the right amount of information to process quickly. introduction ​A brief history of HELCOM Data
  6. 6. 6 ​The first time maps showed up in HELCOM web site was in 2002. The map service was made by the German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) and it had basic functionalities like viewing the layers' attribute tables. introduction ​A brief history of HELCOM Data
  7. 7. 7 ​In 2004 something important happened: the Data and Information Strategy was signed. ​According to this strategy HELCOM Data should facilitate access of the general public to environmental information and monitoring data should be openly accessible online using common standards. ​In 2013 the Data and Information Strategy was updated and it’s now part of the Monitoring and Assessment Strategy. introduction “All data should be openly accessible.” ​A brief history of HELCOM Data
  8. 8. 8 ​From 2004 several data services were published: introduction ​A brief history of HELCOM Data 2004 2005 2006 2008 2010 MARIS maritime and response NUTRIENT nutrient loads COMBINE monitoring A new feature for downloading data Improved and more user-friendly map service
  9. 9. ​A short introduction ​to the survey The survey
  10. 10. 10 HELCOM DATA Survey ​The HELCOM Data survey has been carried out between November and December 2013 as part of a Maritime Spatial Planning project called HORIZON. ​It was co-funded by the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). The EUSBSR is the first macro-regional strategy in Europe which aims at reinforcing cooperation within this large region. ​The overall aim of the project was to carry out activities to contribute to developing coherent Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) based on ecosystem-approach in the Baltic Sea, in close transboundary cooperation and cross-sectorial fashion. ​The survey
  11. 11. 11 HELCOM DATA Survey ​The objective of the survey was to ask for feedback about HELCOM map and data. We wanted to know what users think about the service, what is good and what can be improved. ​We were interested in analysing how the accessibility of data in general and MSP data in particular could be improved from the HELCOM website and the map service. ​The feedback obtained is very valuable for enhancing the accessibility to HELCOM data and especially to HELCOM MSP data. ​HELCOM has for a long time hosted data considered important for MSP as, for example, shipping traffic, nature protection areas, wind farms projects, etc. However, it has not been presented specifically as such. ​This is the second time HELCOM carries out a survey on HELCOM data to ask for feedback about the map and data services. The first survey was made in 2009 as part of a project to enhance the GIS systems. ​The survey
  12. 12. ​Questions related to the HELCOM map service The map service
  13. 13. 13 Questions related to the map service ​This section describes and analyzes the questions related specifically to the HELCOM map service. The main focus was to get to know how people interact with the service, what are the features mostly used and at what frequency. ​The map service
  14. 14. 14 Who answered the survey?38 people have answered the survey which is an increase compared to the previous one in 2009 when only 13 responded. It should be noted that this time the web survey was much easier to fill in. 90% of the answers come from the Baltic Sea area whereas the rest are from countries like UK, Canada or Spain. The only Baltic Sea countries with no respondents have been Latvia and Lithuania. The survey 24% 24% 15% 7% 7% 7% 5% 2% 2% 2% 2% Sweden Finland Denmark Poland Estonia Germany Russia UK Canada EU Spain Origin of respondents (%) ​The map service
  15. 15. 15 For what purpose is HELCOM data used?HELCOM data is an excellent place to find information and statistics about the Baltic Sea. This question was answered by 38 respondents. Most of them answered more than one option. Most respondents find the map service useful to find information and to support decision making. 20% use the map service for research purposes. It is worth noting that very few people use the map service for media purposes. This is something that could be improved in order to make the service more useful for communication and presentation purposes. The map service could, for example, be more flexible when it comes to making own customized maps which is another option that has been answered by very few people (11%). The map service 4% 6% 9% 11% 20% 21% 29% 0% 30% For media purposes As input for models As educational material For making my own maps For research purposes As supporting information for decision making To find relevant statistics and information What do you use HELCOM data for? (%) ​The map service
  16. 16. 16 How often is the map service used?According to the survey the map service is used every 2nd or every 3rd month for the majority of the respondents. Almost 30% use the map service in a daily, weekly or monthly basis. The map service 61% 22% 17% 0% 50% 100% Occasionally (every 2nd month, 3rd... ) Often (Every month) Very Often (Every day / week) How often do users access the map service (%) ​The map service
  17. 17. 17 How often do users analyze data?Analyzing data from the map service is not so popular. This might be because the map service is not a full-fledge GIS tool for analyzing information but rather for visualization and downloading. As the first answer revealed, most people use the map service for finding data. The map service 46% 38% 15% 0% 50% Never Occasionally (every 2nd month, 3rd... ) Often (Every month) How often do users analyze data in the map service (%) ​The map service
  18. 18. 18 How often do users download data?Downloading layers from the service is used mostly occasionally by the respondents. Almost half answered that they never download data. This is however a very important part of the map service. As the HELCOM Data Strategy states, HELCOM data should be openly accessible. Therefore, we consider that making all layers downloadable is the best way to comply with the Strategy. The map service 45% 50% 5% 0% 50% Never Occasionally (every 2nd month, 3rd... ) Often (Every month) How often do respondents download data? (%) ​The map service
  19. 19. 19 How often do users view data?Viewing data is the preferred option for most of the respondents. More than 75% view data from the service on a monthly basis or every 2nd/3rd month. The map service was actually originally made for this purpose but we should consider whether we could make it more flexible to allow other analytical uses. The map service 18% 53% 26% 3% 0% 50% 100% Never Occasionally (every 2nd month, 3rd... ) Often (Every month) Very Often (Every day / week) How often do respondents view data (%) ​The map service
  20. 20. 20 Do you access HELCOM data via WMS?WMS (Web Map Service) is a standard way of accessing geodata from any GIS software. This is very useful particularly for GIS analysts since data from HELCOM can be viewed and analyzed in any GIS platform without having to download it. However, it is definitely not a popular option among respondents of this survey. The reason for this might be that most of the users that have answered the survey are not GIS professionals, i.e., they are not familiar with WMS. Another service that can be very useful is accessing data trough a WFS (Web Feature Service). This has been requested by some respondents and we are considering to implement it. The map service 77% 18% 5% 0% 50% 100% Never Occasionally (every 2nd month, 3rd... ) Very Often (Every day / week) How often do respondents access data via WMS (%) ​The map service
  21. 21. 21 How user-friendly is the map service?The absolute majority of the respondents think that the service is easy to use. This has been one of our main priorities since we renewed the system four years ago. However, there is still room for improvement. For example, most of the complaints are about the difficulty to find layer. The map service hosts a huge amount of layers that are grouped in a way that might not be intuitive for many users. Grouping them in a more logical way and developing a search function would improve significantly the user experience. The map service 3% 11% 46% 40% 0% 50% I disagree I partly disagree I partly agree I agree How many users think the map service is user-friendly (%) ​The map service
  22. 22. 22 How fast is it?The map service is fast for the majority of respondents. This has also been one of the main priorities of the service. This graph is almost identical to the one about user-friendliness which is logical since both are closely related. We consider that there is also room for improvement in this case and we strive to make the visualization of layers as fast as possible. For example, there are still layers, particularly raster datasets, that might be slow to load. The map service 6% 12% 47% 35% 0% 50% I disagree I partly disagree I partly agree I agree Do you agree that the map service is fast? (%) ​The map service
  23. 23. 23 Is it easy to find and read metadata?Metadata is an important part of the HELCOM data. It shows important info about how, when, who and why the layer was created as well as other descriptive and legal text. That is why we have tried to make it as easy to find and interpret as possible. More than 70% agree or partly agree that the metadata is easy to find and read. There are, however, one third of respondents that disagree or partly disagree with this statement which make us think that we must find ways to improve in this area. . The map service 3% 26% 43% 29% 0% 50% I disagree I partly disagree I partly agree I agree It is easy to find and read metadata (%) ​The map service
  24. 24. 24​The map service ​Conclusion In conclusion, the map service is used mostly for finding information, for supporting decision making and for research purposes. It is less used for making own maps, as educational material, as input for models and for media purposes. The map service is accessed every 2nd or 3rd month by most users which usually use the service for viewing info and much less for downloading or analyzing data. WMS is used by a very small percentage of users but we still consider it is an important part of the service. We are considering to publish our data in WFS standard. The map service is considered to be quite fast and user-friendly but there is still a lot of room for improvement in this area as well as in viewing metadata. Searching layers is difficult and the grouping of the layers can be significantly improved. This is specially relevant when considering MSP data since the map service lacks a dedicated place to organize this kind of information. The objective of the project, to which this survey belongs, is to design a MSP map service.
  25. 25. ​An analysis of the questions related to HELCOM Data Data
  26. 26. 26 Questions related to data in general ​This section describes and analyzes the questions related to HELCOM Data in general. It consisted mainly of open questions to get the opinion of respondents about the quality of the data, what users miss and what they think can be improved. ​HELCOM Data
  27. 27. 27 Up-to-date data?One of the major strengths of HELCOM is the possibility to find free online data. Unfortunately, and despite our efforts, this data is not sometimes the most up-to-date. More than 40% of respondents disagree or partly disagree with the fact that HELCOM hosts the most up-to-date data. This is a major challenge for HELCOM since there is a need to find the most updated data for analysis and evaluations. Data 14% 27% 46% 14% 0% 50% I disagree I partly disagree I partly agree I agree I always find the most up-to-date data (%) ​HELCOM Data
  28. 28. 28 Data quality?Most respondents think that the quality of HELCOM data is sufficient for their purposes. 40% think is either good or very good. We consider that the percentage of good and very good must be much higher. The problem is, as one respondent pointed out, how to harmonize the quality of data that come from so many different sources. Data 3% 57% 29% 11% 0% 50% 100% Bad OK Good Very good The quality of data is (%) ​HELCOM Data
  29. 29. 29 Most requests about shipping data ​There were 26% requests about data related to shipping. These requests included for example online AIS data via WMS interface and information on location of shipping routes. ​42% of the requests are about more data in general (Core Indicators, any reported data, etc.) and about land-based pollution (agricultural discharges, industrial pollution loads, etc.). ​16% asked whether it is possible to make available information on national legislation or about the implementation of the Convention. ​Links to data from ICES have been requested by 11%. They would like to see ICES data visualized in the map service. AIS: automatic tracking system used on ships for identifying and locating vessels. ICES: The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) is a global research organization for enhanced ocean sustainability. Data ​HELCOM Data
  30. 30. 30 Most requests about shipping data Data 5% 11% 16% 21% 21% 26% 0% 30% Litter Links to ICES Contacts and legislation Land-based pollution More data in general Shipping What data would you like to view/download? (%) ​HELCOM Data
  31. 31. 31 Better visualization is missingMost respondents would like to have better visualization of data, for example better legend, better overlapping of layers, etc. To this respect, we could consider to improve our quality controls before publishing data to make legends more easy to read and to avoid mistakes and overlaps. The design of the maps and layers (colors, transparencies, fonts, etc.) is something worth considering too in order to make the visualization of the information more clear and understandable. Data ​HELCOM Data 20% 20% 60% 0% 70% Search Shipping-related Visualization What functionality do you miss?
  32. 32. 32 ​“Very helpful HELCOM personnel. I know that if we took an initiative to include some further data, HELCOM would try to help” ​HELCOM Data “Very helpful HELCOM personnel. I know that if we took an initiative to include some further data, HELCOM would try to help.” ​Conclusion ​Further reflections need to be done in order to improve the data quality and the update of the datasets. ​Many users demand more shipping-related data and links to other databases. Better visualization of layers as well as better search functionality are also demanded ​Helcom Data has been praised in the survey for being free, open, to have a large coverage of many issues and, last but bot least, to be supported by a helpful staff at the HELCOM Secretariat.
  33. 33. ​contact information ​Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission Katajanokanlaituri 6 B ​FI-00160 Helsinki, Finland ​+358 207 412 649 ​HELCOM.Secretariat@helcom.fi thank you Made with Slidedocs ©Duarte, Inc.

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