Where does all the (OASIS) data go? Part 1: An OASIS in the sea…working with the Marine Environmental Data and Information Network (MEDIN).

The guiding principle behind the development of the original OASIS system was to capture event data once and allow its use many times to feed into many recording systems. This principle holds true today, over a decade after the launch of OASIS. It has been demonstrated most recently with the inclusion of OASIS metadata from completed and signed off OASIS records within the Marine Environmental Data and Information Network, or MEDIN, portal.

MEDIN is a partnership of UK organisations committed to improving access to marine data. Their partners are both public and private sector and include the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), Natural Resources Wales, the Crown Estate, Defra and other major bodies. MEDIN aims to ensure a high level of access to data about the marine environment on every topic from sea slugs to cannon balls. English Heritage, the Royal Commissions for the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and Wales, alongside the ADS have been working hard to provide a suitable feed of data from OASIS to be displayed in the MEDIN portal. The records available in the MEDIN portal, where they sit alongside records from the UK Hydrographic Office, the Met Office and others, include Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) where they are available, so that MEDIN users can easily find the original data set wherever they are held. In turn MEDIN hope to forward on the records in their portal to the data.gov portal significantly widening the reach of historic environment data for reuse in the UK.
How did we do it? We started by looking at the two recording schemas behind OASIS and the one designed for MEDIN records; there were inevitable differences but we mapped one schema to the other and then created an Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI PMH) target that we made available to MEDIN for harvest by them. This is similar to the sort of technology we employ when we deliver HER data to the Heritage Gateway and holds great opportunities for future data sharing.

We re-use OASIS data in lots of other ways too, so look out for Part 2 of our series on where OASIS data goes. It’s a geophysics special!

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