The 11th Meeting of the IHO Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure (MSDI) Working Group took place in Rostock, Germany, from 23 to 26 February 2020. (more about Working Group at https://iho.int/en/msdiwg). The meeting was hosted by the German Hydrographic Office. Croatia was represented by delegates from the Hydrographic Institute: head of delegation Vinka Kolić, director, and delegation members Željko Bradarić, assistant director for international and EU affairs, and Goran Strinić, head of IT department.
The agenda of this three-day meeting included the topics related to technical, organizational and administrative issues of ensuring availability of marine spatial data for wider use, besides its primary use intended for marine navigation. Cooperation with related international organizations in MSDI issues (UN, OGC) was also addressed.
During the three-day meeting of Working Group, Croatia once again established itself as an active member, participating with proposals and discussions on all items of a comprehensive agenda. Croatia also contributed to the work and the results of two ad hoc working groups: one for Data Policy, and the other for Use Cases.
During a series of bilateral encounters with representatives of other hydrographic offices, ICT companies, the IHO representative, and the host representative, views and opinions were exchanged on the meeting topics and on other matters related to day-to-day work of hydrographic offices.
As early as 2009, IHO recognized the importance of hydrographic data for a wider user community. Therefore, by its resolution 5/2009 IHO established the policy and principles to support hydrographic offices in the identification of their role in the development and implementation of MSDI as part of national Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI). The Working Group through its work ensures the implementation of IHO objectives relating to MSDI.
Following the principles of the IHO, since 2006 Croatia/HHI has ensured availability of hydrographic data for reuse through a licensing model (more at http://www.hhi.hr/staticpages/index/licence). In addition, Croatia/HHI has recognized the need to upgrade and improve the existing concept taking into account different needs of users and existing ICT capabilities. To this end, Croatian Marine Data Portal – GeoAdriatic (http://www.hhi.hr/geoadriatic/) has been released recently. With respect to a wide range of possible uses and potential users’ specific requirements, establishing of MSDI can be regarded even more demanding than establishing of the infrastructure for ensuring availability of official electronic navigational charts (ENC) to users onboard. So, this subject will be a special challenge for the HHI in every respect for the years to come.