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UNESCO/IOC Project Office for IODE
UNESCO/IOC Project Office for IODE
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The IOC's International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) was established in 1961 to enhance marine research, exploitation and development by facilitating the exchange of oceanographic data and information between participating Member States and by meeting the needs of users for data and information products. Formally the IODE started out as a Working Group on Oceanographic Data Exchange which was created by the First IOC Assembly (19-27 October 1961) through Resolution I-9. The Working Group became a Working Committee in 1973 through Resolution VIII-31, adopted by the 8th Session of the IOC Assembly (5-17 November 1973). The IODE system forms a worldwide service oriented network consisting of DNAs (Designated National Agencies), NODCs (National Oceanographic Data Centres), RNODCs (Responsible National Oceanographic Data Centres) and WDCs (World Data Centres - Oceanography). During the past 40 years, IOC Member States have established over 60 oceanographic data centres in as many countries. This network has been able to collect, control the quality of, and archive millions of ocean observations, and makes these available to Member States. With the advance of oceanography from a science dealing mostly with local processes to one that is also studying ocean basin and global processes, researchers depend critically on the availability of an international exchange system to provide data and information from all available sources. Additionally, scientists studying local processes benefit substantially from access to data collected by other Member States in their area of interest. The economic benefit of obtaining data by exchange as opposed to collecting it oneself is huge. The main objectives of the IODE Programme are : to facilitate and promote the exchange of all marine data and information including metadata, products and information in real-time, near real time and delayed mode; to ensure the long term archival, management and services of all marine data and information; to promote the use of international standards, and develop or help in the development of standards and methods for the global exchange of marine data and information, using the most appropriate information management and information technology; to assist Member States to acquire the necessary capacity to manage marine data and information and become partners in the IODE network; and to support international scientific and operational marine programmes of IOC and WMO and their sponsor organisations with advice and data management services. (Note that the IODE objectives were updated to the above version during IODE-XVIII, through Recommendation IODE-XVIII.1 - see below) The IODE network has been able to collect, control the quality of, and archive millions of ocean observations, and makes these available to Member States. Whereas in the past IODE data centers focused mainly on physical oceanography data, the IODE Programme now gives attention to all ocean related data including physical oceanography, chemical, biological, etc. IODE now closely collaborates with, and services the needs of the other IOC and related programmes such as Ocean Sciences, GOOS and the Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM). Another major and long-term commitment of the IODE Programme is the long-term accessibility and archival of oceanographic data, meta-data and information to safeguard present and future holdings against loss or degradation. In the field of International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE), the application of new (ICT) technologies for data management and dissemination has become fully mainstream. The traditional model of centralized data centers at national or global scale are gradually being replaced by a decentralized network of data centers accessible and searchable over the Internet. Thanks to this decentralized model scientists can participate more actively in the data management chain, and can also access data and information more easily. The model also enables a wider range of user communities to access data, data products and information. The global application of the new model and its inherent technology to oceanographic data and information management requires the continuing development and fine-tuning of new standards and applications. IOC's IODE Programme has, for many years provided substantial support, through its TEMA component, to narrow the "digital divide" that still exists between developing and developed countries. Through an integrated capacity building programme that combines training, equipment and operational support, Member States in developing regions will continue to be assisted in order to ensure their active participation in the global network for Oceanographic Data Centres. The IODE Programme is a service programme. Continued strengthening of cooperation with ocean research and monitoring programmes to ensure that data and information needs of these communities are met is therefore a priority. This involves close collaboration with, and servicing of the needs of the other Main Lines of Action I and II, as well as the Joint WMO-IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM). Another major and long-term commitment of the IODE Programme is the long-term accessibility and archival of oceanographic data, meta-data and information to safeguard present and future holdings against loss or degradation. This new strategy will in effect break through the traditional sectoralization of Ocean Services, Ocean Science and GOOS and ensure that the entire ocean research and management can benefit effectively from the extensive data and information infrastructure and know-how developed by the IODE Programme during the past 43 years. In today's information-rich environment, the IODE Programme, due to IOC's role as UN focal point for Ocean matters, will also increasingly play an active role in guiding users to information through the development and maintenance of specialized Portals and clearing-house mechanisms, and this in close collaboration with UN and other agencies .
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