Emapsite and OceanWise WMS supports consultation on Welsh marine conservation zones

May 31, 2012 -- The Welsh Government has chosen a web mapping application from emapsite and OceanWise to supplement a public consultation exercise.

The application supports the consultation by enabling online users to see the ecological basis for ten potential options for Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs).

By visiting the map viewer at http://data.wales.gov.uk/apps/marine/ users can navigate the sites and access a range of subtidal and intertidal habitat information.

The OGC-compliant web map service (WMS) is the first live application since emapsite, the UK’s leading geoportal, announced a new partnership with OceanWise, the independent marine data specialists, earlier this year.

Under the Welsh Government contract, emapsite creates and maintains the WMS for OceanWise’s offshore and coastal vector data, Marine Themes. The data, supplied under licence, is rendered directly from emapsite’s database as required on an on-demand basis.

James Cutler, emapsite CEO, said: “We’ve taken the vector data and styled, shaded and served it according to the customer’s specifications. We created a coloured background WMS for internal GIS visualisation and data processing and a greyscale WMS version for use within the citizen-facing data viewer. Both versions are designed to optimise visualisation of the data at the ‘land-sea interface’, or coast, and be at a map scale to deliver the optimum level of data. It’s a prime example of a cost-effective web mapping solution that supports internal and external communications.”

OceanWise Managing Director Dr Mike Osborne said: “Working with emapsite, we are enabling the Welsh Government to process, share and publish geographic information direct to the people of Wales. Our new generation of marine topographic mapping is up-to-date and definitive and our partnership has given the customer a complete package of support optimised for both desktop and web use.”  

David Roberts, the Welsh Government’s Geography & Technology Operations Manager, said: “We wanted a solution that would help the public navigate the sites easily. It had to enable them to click on the geographic areas covering our waters, view the marine habitats and then respond to the consultation accordingly. OceanWise and emapsite have created an online map resource that is different from traditional ways of viewing the marine environment using charts. It gives us all the filtering, data tiers and symbology we need to produce an outstanding user experience for both staff and the general public.”

Under the MCZ project, the Welsh Government is consulting on ten potential site options with a view to selecting three or four sites for designation in 2014. These sites would be protected from certain activities so that they are able to function as naturally as possible and contribute to marine ecosystem recovery and resilience. The overall aim is to help towards the vision for clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse seas. Potential options include sites off Pembrokeshire, Ceredigion, Gwynedd and Anglesey and in the Menai Strait. 

The public consultation period is due to end on 31 July, 2012.

For more details on emapsite and OceanWise visit www.emapsite.com/mapshop or www.oceanwise.eu/mapping.

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