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Bringing together marine research

When conducting research, information and data are obtained from a vast array of instruments and contributors and it is most difficult to consolidate all these findings into a cohesive whole. Fortunately, a group of researchers created the SIGMA relational database and Geographic Information System (GIS) GISone, in order to integrate research results from marine environment surveys. In fact, the SIGMA database and GIS could, in the future, enhance the effective management of marine environments.
Bringing together marine research
When surveying marine environments, many marine instruments are utilised. In this case, the researchers used acoustic and coring analyses obtained from seabeds. The scientists also procured navigation data from the vessels in order to ascertain the exact location of the seabeds that were analysed. A GIS facilitated the construction of thematic maps that, in turn, permit enhanced decision support systems and advanced environment visualisation.

After obtaining all these research results, the scientists designed and used the SIGMA relational database in conjunction with the SIGMA GISOne to integrate all the information into a cohesive unit so as to create graphical and thematic representations of the marine environments under inspection. When constructing the database and GIS, the researchers were especially careful when selecting the platform and the software that were used. In effect, the SIGMA database and GIS aim to allow quick and easy storage and access of parameters. Additionally, the compatibility and ease of database transportation were also a main priority.

Specifically, the SIGMA database was designed as a means of storing all information of a non-graphical nature via the Oracle and Microsoft Access database management systems. This kind of information includes doctoral theses, historical data, measured data (obtained from sea trials, coring analyses, etc), as well as SIGMA database information such as tables, queries, and reports.

The SIGMA GISOne, was created by researchers as a way of analysing and consolidating geotechnical, geophysical, acoustic, sedimentological, and geological information so as to discover the characteristics of the seabeds. In fact, this GIS functions in three ways as a means of rendering graphic representations of acquired data. The point feature is used for sampling points or stations in space, the linear feature works on the two-dimensional plane, while the area or polygon feature can be utilised for data from a geographical area.

Both the SIGMA database and the SIGMA GISOne work in combination to offer a conclusive and synthetic representation of research results. Researchers could, in future, use the same infrastructures to organise their own research results obtained from marine environment surveys. A crucial long-term advantage is the effective development of marine environment management.

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