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The ODINAFRICA Marine Atlas Project
The Ocean Data and Information Network for Africa (ODINAFRICA) is a project of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC of UNESCO)
In October 2003, a broad spectrum of African marine and coastal experts met in Brussels, Belgium, to plan the ODINAFRICA 3 Framework, including a number of projects and deliverables building on the previous successes of earlier capacity-building efforts. Although the principal focus of ODINAFRICA 3 was the establishment of “a Pan African Network of in situ coastal observing Stations providing Data to the African Ocean Data Information Network,” a significant portion of the efforts were also concerned with gathering, analyzing and synthesizing existing data into a carefully defined suite of data products for African decision-makers, particularly geospatial atlases.
The purpose of the ODINAFRICA Marine Atlas Project (OMAP) is to identify, collect and organize available marine geospatial datasets into an atlas of environmental themes for Africa, under the sponsorship of the ODINAFRICA Program. OMAP will include and involve a number of other atlas-type projects on and around the African continent. The Atlas will use public domain continent-scale data, and existing GIS themes, layers and files that countries and other atlas projects are willing to share. Data from geoscientific studies, atmospheric studies, physical and biological oceanography, the human environment, biogeographic and fisheries studies will be included.
Through this project, selected data for the Africa continent and surrounding waters will be consolidated into one digital library, with links to additional institutional and online data sources. A team of fifteen data managers from twelve coastal African states are working together to produce the atlas by the end of 2006.