'Seaonline' easier than land, says Linz

If confidence is all in sporting endeavours it's just as true when it comes to populating a database.

If confidence is all in sporting endeavours it’s just as true when it comes to populating a database.

In the case of a seabed mapping project being embarked on by Land Information New Zealand (Linz), zones of confidence — or ZOCs — are key information that will be stored in an online database. A ZOC, Linz explains, is a measure of the positional and depth accuracy and the coverage of the sea floor obtained by hydrographic survey.

That allows sailors to estimate how reliable the information is likely to be in particular regions.

But providing online access to data on the seabed should not involve anything like the long-running and sometimes contentious process of digitising information about land, as Linz is doing with its LandOnline project. To begin with, the data itself has already been collected in digital form by hydrographic survey and is held by the government agency, says Linz general manager of contracts, Geoff Howard.

The agency has issued a proposals tender that deals exclusively with meta-data — information for finding specific data sets among the huge database of seabed information.

The first task of suppliers, says the tender, is “to produce an integrated database that will hold core data sets’ meta-data [allowing] Linz staff to locate the data they require efficiently and effectively [and] reducing the level of knowledge required to locate the data”.

Linz is looking for existing software and/or development, data capture, testing, training, documentation and implementation. At this stage, the information is for the use of Linz staff only. But “the tender requires that bidders develop an internet-based look-up system”, says Howard.

“In the event that the look-up system is finally implemented, the meta data could be made publicly available.”

The second task, the tender says, is to capture, document and present ZOC information for New Zealand charts.

The development will accord with the New Zealand Government Locator Service standard for meta-data, part of the standards established by the e-government unit.

The closing date for the tender is March 26. The project is expected to take 12 months.

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