Learning from CleanSeaNet

Contributed by: 
Gianluca Luraschi, European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA)

A near-real-time maritime operational spatial data service for oil spill and vessel detection
In the last decade, national and international public organizations have set up various geospatial services to monitor and understand safety, security and environmental issues. The availability of observation data and information at the right moment and with the right quality is crucial for managing these issues.
Earth Observation, via in-situ and satellite remote sensing, is a powerful tool for collecting environmental data and information (i.e. measurements/observations), both at local and global scales. Spatial Data Infrastructure which facilitates the sharing, use and exchange of data among various stakeholders is a key to addressing the sustainable management of both natural and human resources. But while collecting and sharing data are preconditions, we still need to define the final target of this process, which is to identify possible actions triggered by the observed event.
Spatial Data Infrastructures have been built taking into account the publish/find/bind web services paradigm, where geospatial resources need to be published, discovered and accessed (for download or viewing purposes) in order to be used among various stakeholders. For many operational services, taking the right decision at the right time means analysing all the relevant information when some predefined events are detected (e.g. an oil spill) and trigger a set of actions. This constraint about the availability of the relevant information implies a shift of focus from the traditional publish/find/bind model, to one that puts emphasis on a more event-driven approach.
CleanSeaNet (CSN) is a near-real-time satellite-based oil spill and vessel monitoring service offered by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to all EU and EFTA Member States and covering all European seas. With the implementation of CSN, EMSA has built one of the first European maritime operational event-driven services based on spatial data infrastructure principles.
To successfully observe, measure, share, exchange and analyse information about oil spills and vessels among its community, CSN is implemented using a set of OGC service interface standards– The OGC Web Map Service (OGC-WMS 1.1.1), Web Feature Service (OGC-WFS 1.1.0), Catalogue Service - Web (OGC-CSW ebRIM profile) and Web Coverage Service (OGC WCS 1.1.1) interface standards, and also two OGC data encoding standards – netCDF and Geography Markup Language (GML) 3.1.1.