Contribute to MESH

Contribute © MESH
There are a number of ways you can contribute to the MESH project both as an individual and through the organisation you work for.  The easiest is by simply using the MESH products and allowing the tools, techniques and guides to facilitate your own work: 
  1. Use the MESH products
  2. Contribute data / habitat maps / metadata to the mapping services
  3. Join the MESH stakeholder network
  4. Give feedback on your experiences of the MESH products
If you are actively involved in marine management either at a local or international level or just have a interest in what lies beneath the sea the MESH website has something to offer you!   

Contributing Data to the MESH Project

Effective management of the marine environment requires information on the spatial distribution and the quality of seabed habitats. Before the MESH Project started, there was no single access point for seabed habitat mapping data in north-west Europe. Since 2004, the collation of metadata and data has formed a large part of the work of project partners. Metadata are ‘data about data’ and are extremely useful when searching for information as well as when trying to make judgements about its usefulness and quality. The data are the actual seabed mapping data, which may be in various forms including polygon maps, point samples and images of the seabed. The MESH webGIS is a purpose built interactive mapping website which displays these collated data and allows users to access their associated metadata. The resulting website delivers significant volumes of habitat mapping data to the public domain. If your organisation holds seabed mapping data, you can contribute to MESH! This page contains all the information and downloadable documents you will need to contribute your data.
Within each country, one MESH Partner leads the metadata and data collation. These organisations gather seabed mapping data and metadata from data providers, and this provision of data is subject to a Data Agreement between the MESH partner and data provider. The data provider can grant different levels of data access, ranging from permission simply to hold the data, through various levels of interpretation and processing and dissemination, to the highest level of access which is permission to share the data with third parties.
Data Flow © MESH
The flow diagram above shows the simplified flow of data from the provider to the stakeholder. In the UK the MESH partner responsible for data collation is JNCC, and additionally JNCC collates data from the lead partners in other countries. We have gathered data and metadata from a wide range of organisations including conservation agencies, government bodies, NGOs, and private sector companies. After receiving the seabed mapping data and metadata, JNCC processes and loads them onto the MESH website where they are displayed on the MESH webGIS, linked to the Online Metadata Catalogue which contains over 1000 records for seabed mapping studies carried out in the MESH area. The MESH webGIS and Online Metadata Catalogue are free to register and easy to use. More than 200 collated seabed maps are presented together with background data layers to give context, such as bathymetry, acoustic images, seabed photos, sediment maps and boundaries. Stakeholders can view and query the data and metadata online, as well as building reports of species or habitats in areas of interest and printing maps. 
If you decide to contribute data to the MESH Project, the first step is to read the MESH Data Provider Agreement and decide on a level of access which is suitable for the data resource. Then you should create a metadata entry for the data resource using the MESH metadata standard: this is available as a spreadsheet template. At this stage you can also assess the confidence in the data resource if it is a habitat map. This can be done either using the MESH Confidence Tool (online) or the MESH Confidence Scoresheet.
We have defined a series of Data Exchange Formats for a variety of data types which can be contributed to MESH. These increase in compexity from the Study Area DEF (outline polygon, few attributes), to the Original Habitat DEF (habitat map, few attributes including untranslated habitat codes), and finally to the Translated Habitat DEF (for habitat maps translated to EUNIS, has audit trail attributes). The flow diagram below shows the questions you should answer to decide which DEF(s) is/are appropriate. If your data resource is not a habitat map, it may still be useful to the MESH Project so please contact us for more information about formats for supporting data. If it is habitat or species point data you should use the Sample DEF. Data and metadata can be contributed at any time, and will be uploaded to the website in the next upload, usually every 6 months. 
Data Processing © MESH
Useful documents and forms Size
All data provider forms 882 kb
Data provider agreement 205 kb
Metadata guidance 154 kb
Metadata template 47 kb
Confidence assessment scoresheet 121 kb
Confidence assessment guidelines 82 kb
Confidence assessment tool Web
Data Exchange Formats (DEFs) - all 428 kb
                Study area DEF 105 kb
                Original habitat DEF 120 kb
                Translated habitat DEF 166 kb
                Sample DEF 138 kb