The infrastructure requirements for a marine information management system

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This thesis investigates the necessary and sufficient infrastructure requirements to build a marine information management system capable of providing effective information services to the whole spectrum of users of marine information including governments, industries, and academic institutions. To determine the current status of marine information management in Canada selected information systems from the federal and provincial governments and the private sector are examined. Based on this examination two case studies are presented to determine the user requirements. Aquaculture was selected as an application for a marine information system from which to determine the broader and more general user requirements. The Electronic Chart, since it is a tool to support an application (the application being navigation), was chosen to determine the more specific user requirements. The results of the case studies indicated a need for networking the various data sets necessary to create and provide the information that users require. Design considerations for networking and sharing marine data sets are presented. These include basic data problems, financial and technical concerns, political issues, distributed data processing methods and trends, and network architecture and design. The required infrastructure to support a marine information network consists of data collection systems, databases, and data transmission systems. Each of these elements requires a set of common standards and resolution of technological and institutional issues before the network can be implemented. A proposed infrastructure design is presented along with recommendations for the development and implementation of a marine information network.