Marine Environmental Data sets - EDMED

The European Directory of Marine Environmental Data sets (EDMED) is a comprehensive reference to the marine data sets and collections held within European research laboratories, so as to provide marine scientists, engineers and policy makers with a simple mechanism for their identification. It covers a wide range of disciplines including marine meteorology; physical, chemical and biological oceanography; sedimentology; marine biology and fisheries; environmental quality; coastal and estuarine studies; marine geology and geophysics; etc. Data sets are catalogued in EDMED irrespective of their format (e.g. digital databases or files, analogue records, paper charts, hard-copy tabulations, photographs and videos, geological samples, biological specimens etc). Although the directory is targeted primarily at data sets that can be made accessible to other users, encouragement is also given to holders of working data sets, or data of a confidential or restricted availability, to make their data known through EDMED.

Currently, EDMED describes more than 3300 data sets, from a wide range of disciplines, held at over 630 Data Holding Centres from 30 countries across Europe. It has established itself as a European standard for indexing and searching data sets relating to the marine environment.

NODC is partner for the Netherlands and coordinates the national collation and maintenance of EDMED entries by the NODC member institutes.

EDMED was initiated in 1991 by BODC (UK), with EU-funding, and updated and expanded during the Sea-Search project. As part of its successor project EU SeaDataNet it has been extended in coverage to all 35 countries, participating in SeaDataNet. Also a major upgrade has been undertaken: the EDMED user interface and maintenance system have been upgraded to Version 1, which is better in line with the other SeaDataNet directories and makes use of the common vocabularies, that have been introduced for SeaDataNet.

Maintenance and formats
The compilation and maintenance of entries for EDMED is coordinated by the partners of the SeaDataNet network, who contact and communicate with institutes in their countries to gather and to ensure up-to-date information on important marine research projects and about addresses and profiles of related institutes. NODC coordinates the EDMED maintenance by institutes from the Netherlands. Within the framework of SeaDataNet a versatile entry tool and XML generator have been developed, MIKADO, that works with the new EDMED V1 XML format and makes use of the SeaDataNet common vocabularies. The NODC is responsible for validating all modifications and new entries, performed by local institutes, before transfering these in XML format to BODC as EDMED collator for publication via the EDMED user interface. 

For purposes of standardisation and harmonisation with other metadatabases within SeaDataNet and NODC the EDMED V1 XML schema and XML exchange format have been formulated using tags from the ISO19115 metadata standard. The EDMED XML format makes use of the Common Vocabularies, that have been initiated within SeaDataNet and that are kept operational via Web Services and a User client. By using the ISO tags and common vocabularies interoperability with the other metadatabases is ensured.