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The Colour of Ocean Data: International Symposium on oceanographic data and information management, with special attention to biological data. Brussels, Belgium, 25-27 November 2002: book of abstracts

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Abstract: Ocean data management plays a crucial role in global as well as local matters. The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission-with its network of National Oceanographic Data Centres-and the International Council of Scientific Unions-with
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Costello, C. Heip, S. Levitus, J. Mees, P. Pissierssens, E . Vanden Berghe, eds (2002). The colour of ocean data – international symposium on oceanographic data and information management with special attention tobiological data. Brussels, Belgium, 25-27 November 2002. Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ): Oostende, Belgium. xi, 93pp. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ)Flanders Marine InstituteVismijn, Pakhuizen 45-52B-8400 Oostende, BelgiumTel. +32-(0)59-34 21 30Fax +32-(0)59-34 21 31E-mail: info@vliz.behttp://www.vliz.be =  ISSN 1377-0950  iii ,4#82(#,4#82(#,4#82(#,4#82(# More and more, ocean data management has to play a crucial role in global as well aslocal matters. Vast amounts of physical, chemical and biological oceanographic data arecollected in all seas and oceans of the world. International networks are created, tostandardise data formats and facilitate data exchange. Global databases of existing datahave been compiled, global programmes are operational and new ones are developed,data are routinely exchanged. The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, withthe network of National Oceanographic Data Centres, and the International Council of Scientific Unions, with the World Data Centres, have played a major catalysing role inestablishing the existing ocean data management practices.No one can think of data management without thinking of information technology. Newdevelopments in computer hard- and software force us to continually rethink the way wemanage ocean data. One of the major challenges in this is to try and close the gapbetween the haves and the have-nots, and to assist scientists in less fortunate countries tomanage oceanographic data flows in a suitable and timely fashion. So far major emphasis has been on the standardization and exchange of physical oceanographicdata in open ocean conditions. But the colour of the ocean data is changing. The ‘blue’ oceansciences get increasingly interested in including geological, chemical and biological data (e.g.the newly created IODE Group of Experts on Biological and Chemical Data Management andExchange Practises – GE-BCDMEP). Moreover the shallow sea areas get more and moreattention as highly productive biological areas that need to be seen in close association with thedeep seas. How to fill in the gap of widely accepted standards for data structures that can servethe deep ‘blue’ and the shallow ‘green’ biological data management is a major issue that has tobe addressed. And there is more: data has to be turned into information. In the context of ocean datamanagement, scientists, data managers and decision makers are all very much dependenton each other. Decision makers will stimulate research topics with policy priority andhence guide researchers. Scientists need to provide data managers with reliable and firstquality controlled data in such a way that the latter can translate and make themavailable for the decision makers. But do they speak the same ‘language’? Are theyhappy with the access they have to the data? And if not, can they learn from each other’sexpectations and experience? The objective of this symposium is to harmonize ocean colours and languages and create aforum for data managers, scientists and decision makers with a major interest in oceanography,and open to everyone interested in ocean data management.Edward Vanden Berghe on behalf of the Scientific Committee   iv   v  .2!#&8(&.#.0.2!#&8(&.#.0.2!#&8(&.#.0.2!#&8(&.#.0   &42!,4#0#.2.&0   (()*+$),    '(=.5#0(&/97================================================================================================================================&+='&'/7-&'284(2==================================================================================================================================?'68==C.DD60-============================================================================================================;46=&.7===================================================================================================================================+=&'#4C==================================================================================================================================================E (()((+(),    !0=/71&'A====================================================================================================================4-+=3=+=/(=+ 2+/07=============================================================================================================<./=6=#==4=,=,.004+8&$F4&C(5/*=============================================================================================================================@+(=#=+#'2464+/07+#'24)+#'2.!20 ==========================================================================A  
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