Big data and digitalization | European Marine Board

Big data and digitalization

In light of the rapid advances in digitalization in ocean technology and data collection, there is a need to address how big data will both impact and help drive the future of marine science.


This is an upcoming activity of the European Marine Board. Expected outputs and further details will be provided soon.

One of the first activities associated with Big Data will be a workshop held at European Maritime Day 2019, on 16-17 May 2019 in Lisbon, organized together with Campus mondial de la mer and EMODnet. 


Data-driven innovation is driving a decline in the cost of data collection, storage and processing. Together with the increasing use of the internet, particularly for socio-economic activities, huge volumes of data are being generated and used – commonly referred to as “Big Data”.

The Big Data revolution, together with open science, brings about novel ways of understanding and addressing environmental challenges. This enables scientists in their research, including cloud based analyses of big geospatial data for the simulation of events e.g. flooding and enabling policy-makers to make informed and evidence-based decisions based on large, integrated data sets, e.g. on climate change. But at the same time it presents new challenges for policy makers, scientific institutions and individual researchers in terms of ways to store, analyze, manage and share data.

It is clear that in the future, the amount of ocean data produced, and its speed of delivery will increase significantly. Therefore, it is crucial to assess the marine data management requirements and how current systems e.g. databases and cloud storage may need to evolve to ensure data are accessible and retain their quality and provenance. Currently there are no definitive solutions.