Contributing Data

If your organisation holds seabed habitat data, you can contribute directly to EMODnet Seabed Habitats!

Whether you have point or polygon data, this section of the site contains all the information and downloadable documents that you will need to contribute your habitat data.

For further information and help regarding submission processes within EMODnet, or if you have any other themes of data to submit, please visit the EMODnet Data Ingestion portal.

Why submit data? 


Effective management of the marine environment requires information on the spatial distribution and the quality of seabed habitats. EMODnet Seabed Habitats seeks to collate and publish habitat maps from external bodies to meet these needs. Contributing data also brings several benefits for the data provider:

  • Satisfying funding requirements: Increasingly funding bodies and governments require that data obtained using public funds be made freely available. Submitting data and making it available via EMODnet ensures data is publicly shared for re-use.
  • Safeguarding data: submitting data to EMODnet portals ensures the longevity of the data set.
  • Adding value to the data: making data available via EMODnet allows datasets to be combined to create data products, such as digital terrain models. Underlying data sources are always acknowledged.
  • Preventing duplication of effort: Making a data set visible via EMODnet prevents unnecessary duplication of effort, reducing costs for operators and environmental impact.
  • Compliance: The EMODnet Seabed Habitats data exchange formats are INSPIRE-compliant and will enable your habitat data to be used in combination with a wide variety of data across Europe.
  • Support: EMODnet can provide support to any individual or association that may be interested to share data.

What habitat data can I submit?

Both point and polygon data in the EUNIS and EU Habitats Directive Annex I (Natura2000) classification systems are preferred, in order to allow consistency an comparison of data across European seas. However habitat data in any classification system are welcomed.

How do I submit data?

If you decide to contribute data to EMODnet Seabed Habitats you should follow the data submission process using the files contained within the data provider package. The data should be supplied to your country's project partner in a valid Data Exchange Format, which standardises the data, allowing multiple datasets to be collated and compared. If your country does not have a partner in EMODnet Seabed Habitats, please contact us.

What happens to the data?

Within each country, one EMODnet Seabed Habitats 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 project partner and data provider clarifying data access rights and copyright information. The data is then passed from the partners to be centrally collated by JNCC.

Flow diagram describing data contribution to EMODnet Seabed Habitats

The flow diagram above shows the simplified flow of data from the provider to the end user. 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, JNCC processes and loads them onto the EMODnet Seabed Habitats website where they are displayed on the map viewer.

The EMODnet Seabed Habitats map viewer displays these collated data alongside their associated metadata, resulting in a website that delivers significant volumes of habitat mapping data to the public domain.Stakeholders can view and query the data and metadata online, and within desktop GIS as well as building reports of species or habitats in areas of interest and printing maps.

If your data resource is not a habitat map, it may still be useful to EMODnet Seabed Habitats so please contact us for more information about formats for supporting data. 

Data and metadata can be contributed at any time, and will be uploaded to the website in the next periodic upload.