||About the Atlas
The Marine Irish Digital Atlas (MIDA)
provides a single source where people interested in coastal
and marine information can visualise and identify pertinent
geospatial datasets and determine where to acquire them. MIDA
offers both digital geospatial data and information, incorporating
text and multimedia elements, related to coastal and marine
resources in Ireland. Integrating the latest advances in web-based
mapping techniques, the atlas is built around an interactive
map, which allows anyone to identify, visualise, and query those
datasets relevant to their interests. The atlas displays data
layers from numerous coastal and marine organisations both within
Ireland and abroad, thus providing the best single resource
for finding and viewing existing Irish coastal and marine data.
The key goal of the
MIDA project has been to develop a Marine Irish Digital Atlas
as an updateable web GIS based data archive and informational
Technology Behind the Atlas
Specific objectives are:
- To develop a web site for presentation of geo-referenced
marine datasets of environmental significance.
- To provide greater accessibility to data
and information in the form of a web enabled, customised
- To provide flexibility of use by providing a
range of tools that allow users to select, overlay and
compare geospatial layers.
- To allow users to identify sources of data, information and
expertise on the marine environment.
- Encourage a greater appreciation of Ireland's coastal regions by
incorporating educational and informational materials based on multi-media
1: Image of the MIDA interactive map page.
make up the MIDA system
(based on the INSPIRE
MIDA has been implemented using state
of the art, open source software technology.
|| User interface:
The atlas is accessible from a wide range of web browsers.
Users can visualise and query geospatial data directly
on the MIDA web site using the open source MapServer
web-based mapping system. Information pertaining to the
layers displayed is also easily accessible.
Geoprocessing: Tools such as zoom,
query, add layers, search metadata, etc. allow real-time
processing on displayed and stored geo-spatial data.
Server and Data Repository: A dedicated
computer with a LINUX operating system runs all software
and contains all data:
||GEOSPATIAL DATA: Geographically
referenced vector and raster datasets.
METADATA: Descriptive information on
geo-spatial data including origin, quality, geographical extent, etc. Compliant to
ISO 19115 standard.
NON-GEOSPATIAL DATA: Text, photos, animations, audio, etc.
The atlas contains geographically referenced
data grouped into four main categories of information.
It is expected that the atlas will eventually contain a few
hundred separate data layers. View a list of layers which
have currently been collected here.The
following table shows the MIDA categories and some of the subcategories.
Water Mgmt. Boundaries
Fresh Water Quality
Estuarine Water Quality
Parks and Reserves
What layers would you like to see?
Contact us and let us know.
From the main atlas, users have easy
access to informational pages about a range of topics relevant
to Ireland's coastal and marine areas. A general description
of each layer is also provided on the main atlas page when a
layer is selected (Figure 3). From here, users can access the
more detailed information in the
form of text, images, multimedia, and links to outside sources
for those interested in learning more.
Figure 3: Example of introductory information
that is provided when a layer is selected, located below the
map on the main atlas page.
Atlas Audience and User Feedback
The broad nature of the atlas is intended for anyone who may be interested in
Irish coastal and marine information, from young students to scientific
researchers. The expected atlas users fall into the following categories:
User feedback is important in the development
process of the atlas. Efforts to receive input from a broad
range of users have included meetings with key coastal and marine
data holders and users, as well as meetings with user groups
made up of representatives from the groups listed above. The
direction of atlas development and data acquisition is influenced
by feedback received at these meetings in order to develop a
resource that is useful and interesting to everyone.
- Governmental Agencies
- Educational & Research Facilities
- Local Authorities
- International Organisations
- Conservation Organisations
- Commercial Organisations
- Non-Governmental Organisations
- General Public
MIDA Usage Statistics
over 32.000 visits since May 2005 MIDA has become a popular
resource. Check out the "monthly
Steering Committee Members
A number of papers have been written about the MIDA
regarding general descriptions of the project, the development of the atlas, and
issues encountered in the process of its development with technology and
geospatial data. To find out more, go to our Documents
If you have questions, comments or suggestions regarding the MIDA, or wish
to become a member of the MIDA mailing list, please contact the MIDA team.