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OD Nature and the migration of assets

When the Management Unit of the North Sea Mathematical Models (MUMM/BMM/UGMM) officially joined the Operational Directorate Natural Environment, it became immediately clear that all its web assets had to be migrated from the aging infrastructure to a newer platform.

But this is not a straightforward task. Indeed, over the years, the old MUMM web site has grown very large and holds a mixture of corporate information (the general description of all MUMM's activities related to its so-called 3M-strategy: Modelling, Monitoring and Management), services (our trusted operational oceanographic forecasts for the North Sea, the Belgica at-sea campaigns, satellite imagery dataabases,...), project web sites and specialised web applications such as OSERIT (used by OD Nature, Coast Guard Centres and other governmental authorities in case of an oil pollution at sea).

In parallel, other research teams that previously constitued RBINS departments were also incorporated into our OD in order to make it a coherent entity for the study of the natural environment.

The question that arose what thus: what is the best approach to adequately present our research?

In the end, it was decided to separate content into two different RBINS web sites:

  • Our corporate web site will hold the general description of our activities and groups, as it does for other Operational Directorates, to promote cohesion and coherence. Ultimately, it is our intention to present our research and expertise to the general public on this platform, with specifically written content that will be targeted to a predominantly non-scientific audience. We feel that as a public service, this is an important part of our duties. We've drawn up a clear information architecture for this web site, where research related to seas and oceans, rivers and lakes or terrestrial environment will be presented, together with our expertise in numerous other domains (policy support, aerial surveillance of the sea, environmental assessment,...). This is a work in progress — at the moment, only a summary information is available. Our corporate web site also holds information related to the Museum and is built using a content management system..
  • For more specialised scientific content, we have created the web site. This gives us a much greater flexibility in terms of development — this is especially required for our complex web applications where technical requirements may only difficultly allow us to use the Institute's content management system. The SWAP team was created to develop this scientific development platform and to offer tailor-made development services.

During the past few months, SWAP has been busy developing a request process, a workflow, a web development framework and an easily configured templating system. We can now start migrating content from to our new scientific development platform but have to do so in stages. Indeed, each web site that is migrated is also re-coded within our web framework and upgraded to use the latest web development techniques. For simple web sites, this is not a huge work. But complex applications such as our operational oceanographic forecasts require much more time and care. For some applications, we're also modernising the whole data processing chain, which adds to the workload.

Therefore, we have deciced to migrate and publish legacy web sites in batches, or as soon as they are ready. We started by the most straightforward and those which are linked to other OD Nature resources that we wish to make available in the first wave of publications.

Migrated web sites as of September 9th, 2014


The Marcoast-2 imagery database

OD Nature is a Service Provider in the MarCoast-2 (Marine & Coastal Environmental Information Services) GMES project. We deliver Chlorophyll, algae bloom detection and timing products satellite imagery products. At the moment, about 45GB of data is at your disposal.

oceanography remote sensing data service web site public View site »


The BELCOLOUR project

In this project, we improved the quality of existing optical remote sensing products for marine, coastal and inland waters and developed innovative products including primary production and partial pressure of CO2.

oceanography > physics remote sensing project web site public View site »


The EMoSEM project

The aim of EMoSEM is to develop and combine the state-of-the-art modelling tools describing the river-ocean continuum in the North-East Atlantic continental seas in order to link the eutrophication nuisances in specific marine regions to anthropogenic inputs and trace back their sources up to the watersheds.

oceanography > physics, ecology mathematical modelling project web site public View site »


The JONSMOD 2014 International Conference

The Joint Numerical Sea Modelling Group Conference was held at RBINS in May 2014. JONSMOD focusses on mathematical modelling techniques for shallow seas.

oceanography mathematical modelling conference web site public View site »


Environmental impact of offshore wind farms International Conference

The WinMon.BE conference was held at RBINS in 2013. This international symposium gathered 146 scientists, policy makers and wind energy companies from 13 countries and focused on the environmental impact assessment of offshore wind farms.

management impact assessment conference web site public View site »

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30 April 2015

The HNS-MS project web site has just been released.

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9 September 2014

We've migrated a first batch of web sites to our OD Nature framework.

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4 September 2014

The TILES web site opens. The TILES project is funded under the BRAIN-be call ‘Sustainable management of mineral and geological resources’ and coordinated by OD Nature.

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1 September 2014

We're busy making our production server available. The first web sites will soon become available.