Mauritius Ocean Observatory platform for Marine Spatial Planning

Mr Erin Kenna1, Ms Sharon Tickell1, Mr Jonathan Hodge1

1CSIRO, Brisbane, Australia


The Department for Continental Shelf, Maritime Zones Administration and Exploration, with the expertise of CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere, has developed an Ocean Observatory Database platform under the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) project “Developing an Enhanced Ocean Observatory in support of Ocean Exploration and Development”. The Ocean Observatory platform is designed to support the Marine Spatial Planning initiative of the Republic of Mauritius by providing a platform to collect, store, organise and provide access to spatio-temporal data relevant to ocean exploration and development. The platform will ensure that data meeting the needs of industry and government authorities can be easily accessed and analysed. By providing relevant information, the database will also help to sustainably manage the maritime zones of Mauritius through informed policy decisions.

The Ocean Observatory platform uses GeoNode, an open source Geospatial Content Management System, which allows data to be loaded into a geospatial database alongside connected metadata and document resources. The relationships between data, metadata and documents are maintained to ensure that it is easy for end users to discover and access data resources. In addition, GeoNode includes a web-based interface to allow simple discovery and management of spatial data and metadata as well as interactive mapping. GeoNode leverages existing security frameworks, is scalable and includes an administration console which makes it easy to manage resources and front end settings.

This project has developed Ansible playbooks for automated, production-grade installation and configuration of the Ocean Observatory as a template for other developing nations.


Erin Kenna is a spatial scientist and data manager with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Brisbane, Australia. Erin has over 12 years’ experience working with environmental and spatial data for State and Federal government and the private sector. Erin joined CSIRO in 2016 and is responsible for quality assurance, collation and synthesis of data on a range of CSIRO projects. Prior to joining CSIRO Erin worked with the Queensland State government for 10 years on programs assessing biodiversity and developing data and assessment frameworks to integrate environmental science into products for management, spatial planning and policy purposes.


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