Marine Metadata Project

Marine Metadata Project

The Marine Metadata Project aims to enhance the availability and accessibility of BAS marine data.


There are a large number and wide range of different marine datasets collected by BAS vessels over the last few decades and their collective management represents many years of future work. This project will deal with what ties all these datasets together, namely the cruise metadata including the when, where, who and why and the identification of what happened on each cruise (the events). Significant work has already been done in this respect by the UK PDC, the BAS Archives Service, and the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC) but the picture is still very much incomplete in terms of datasets collected and cruises run. The system will provide visualization and access to many types of marine data and will initially concentrate on four datasets (underway, bathymetric, bio-acoustic, benthic biology).

Marine Portal

The Marine Metadata Project portal is currently under development. As of August 2014 the backend components and data processing systems are complete. The web frontend is under development and is aiming for a 2015 release. The project has been paused due to work required for the BAS public website redevelopment.
The portal will provide the ability to view available datasets, cruise details and equipment event summaries. The web portal is built up of three main components:

  1. Event Database Backend Data API – This is the core database that contains all the details about events, instruments, ships, people and projects. The events database will be exposed via a REST like API that allows queries to be passed and returned as JSON formatted data.
  2. Mapping Server – Geoserver – The actual processed mapping data is served via a Geoserver instance with Geowebcache. The cruise layers and events will be available in four projections: Antarctic Polar Stereographic (EPSG:3031), Arctic Stereographic (North Pole LAEA Alaska EPSG:3572), South Georgia Lambert (EPSG:3762), Spherical Mercator (EPSG:3857, 900913)
  3. Web Frontend – The Geoserver instance and backend API are combined to form a front end that allows browsing and searching. Some previews of the current development interface are available on this page.