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Telematics for Libraries - Projects


Updated: 22 NOV 99
Project Number and Title
4020 - Geographical user interface for network-based Baltic Marine Environment Information System
Programme/Action line Call Topic(s) Start End Project Duration
in Months
FP 4/ C 8 January 1997 October 1998

Keywords : bibliographic databases; document access/delivery (electronic); geographic information; geographic information system; information retrieval; user interface

blue bullet Additional information is available from the BALTICSEAWEB web site . (

Action Line

Action Line C: Library services for access to net-worked information resources.

Call Topic(s)

Call Topic 8: User services based on resource discovery and retrieval.

Project description

BALTICSEAWEB allows users to search for marine information using a geographical user interface, with connection to text retrieval tools, then to retrieve bibliographic references and original documents in digital form over the Internet. The project promotes, facilitates and improves co-operation, resource sharing and networking between libraries in Baltic Sea countries.

Technical approach

The main steps in developing the BALTICSEAWEB service were:

  • Assessment of user requirements
  • Development of bibliographic input and geographic indexes.
  • Management of original documents in electronic form and via electronic means.
  • Provision of the GIS (geographic information system) interface to aid users in searching for and accessing data information.

Key issues

Main technical issues addressed by the project are:

  • To demonstrate the usability of GIS-based interface solutions for accessing library material.
  • To focus on the integration of existing and emerging technologies into demonstrable applications, rather than on fully-fledged interoperability of network resources.
  • The system design must permit the integration of non-bibliographic data at a later stage (not covered by the current project) and suitable cross-references.


The geographical user interface of the BALTICSEAWEB provides ready access to environmental information, including bibliographic databases and full-text documents. Users need not be GIS experts to use the information location system, as the interface is easy to use and helps target relevant information sources quickly.

Local and state governments, as well as SMEs, are among the prime users of the services offered by BALTICSEAWEB. A prototype demonstrator is now accessible through the project Web site.

The project offers an excellent demonstration of how GIS technology can assist non-specialists in locating information covering many themes, formats and sources over wide geographical regions.

BALTICSEAWEB complemented a number of other relevant initiatives and projects, such as the G7 MARIS (Marine Information Services) initiative, BALLERINA (the UNEP Baltic Sea Region On-line Environmental Information Resources for Internet Access) and EDMED, the marine information directory of EU. The service is of real benefit to decision makers in the area of environmental policy making, as well as to commercial companies, whose need to take account of environmental factors is ever increasing.


The main deliverables of the project include the following, not all of which are for public release:

  • User requirements study
  • Input system design/documentation
  • Specific geo-indexing engine
  • Software module incorporating the geo-indexing engine
  • Demonstrator pilot information service
  • Validation plan and report
  • Exploitation plan
  • Annual and Final project reports

Public documentation is available from the contact shown and from the Web at:


Name of Institution/Organisation Postal Code / City Country
Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT)
Information Service
FI - 02044 VTT Espoo FI
Title, First Name, Name Mr. Sauli Laitinen Address: Vuorimiehentie
Tel: + 358 9 456 43 70 Fax: + 358 9 456 43 74
E-mail 1: (email removed) E-mail 2:

Other Partners

Name of Institution/Organisation Country Role
Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency DE P
Federal Research Centre for Fisheries DE P
Swedish Environmental Protection Agency SE P
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