Introduction

The primary objective of the marineatlas.be project is to publish the marine data and information managed by the Belgian federal authorities through INSPIRE-compliant interfaces. The human user will be able to easily browse the available datasets, (pre-)view them and download the selected information from the portal. Corresponding functions, offered as "web-services" will allow to incorporate the available information into complex and distributed applications.

"marineatlas.be" aims at becoming the marine node of the federal geo-platform being implemented by the Belgian National Geographical Institute. Once this node and the infrastructure will be available, it will be much more easy to satisfy the international obligations that, already now, request the INSPIRE-compliancy, e.g. Marine Strategy Framework Directive, Marine Spatial Planning directive, EIOnet reporting, ...

This activity does not reduce to publishing information on the web. A team of geographical experts, acquainted with marine and maritime issues, is devoted to the upwards validation of the data (legal aspects, topological and geographical consistency) and to their full descriprition according to established standards (ISO 19115 metadata profiles).

A steering board, made of representative of concerned federal departments, on a voluntary basis, pilots the project.