Marine Data & GI Specialist Advice Framework

Client: Natural England

exeGesIS won a place on this Framework and successfully bid for three work packages. These involved both the standardisation of existing polygon data and the import of survey data into Marine Recorder.

Marine Data & GI Specialist Advice Framework for Natural EnglandNatural England had collated a series of spatial datasets relating to surveys of subtidal and intertidal marine habitats. Though all were in digital Geographical Information System format, they were from a variety of sources with differing formats. These were standardised to MESH Translated Habitat DEF, including an assessment of MESH confidence, data cleansing and validation, quality assurance and production of MEDIN metadata. We used a range of tools within ArcGIS, QGIS, GRASS and MapInfo in order to quickly and efficiently produce accurate and reliable outputs. We also utilised four standard habitat translation tables to manually assure the EUNIS habitat identified. A generic process diagram was also created, that can be used to guide all future MESH translation work.

The data to be imported into Marine Recorder were reviewed so that issues could be identified and the approach to import could be agreed. Biotopes were assigned through expert assessment of the data, based upon faunal groupings from Bray-Curtis analysis, particle size distribution, geographic location and field survey notes for each sample. These were then compared with the Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland (Connor et al., 2004) for the final biotope assignment. The Marine Recorder spreadsheet import function was used to import the resulting data, with particle size and biotope entered manually. The imported data in the snapshot were then independently checked to ensure they were correctly attributed.

Further information from Mike Lush.

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