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Data Requirements

The Marine Data Exchange (MDE) is the system used to store, manage and share offshore survey data provided to The Crown Estate. A set of consistent standards and requirements ensure that this system is maintained to a high level with enhance discoverability of data.

(Please note that data provided before 2013 may not fully meet the below requirements).


For detailed information, please read our requirements document (version 1.5 published January 2018).

From January 2013, data submitted by developers to the Marine Data Exchange should meet the following requirements:

The data shall be structured into a hierarchy of "Series" , "Datasets" and "Reports" according to the below figure.

A Series is analogous to a MEDIN Series which can be defined as a collection of datasets and reports collected in relation to a survey or data collection campaign, linked by a common research question. A series must be described by a metadata record and must contain all reports and datasets related to that survey campaign, including report appendices and GIS shapefiles where applicable.

A Dataset is defined as a 'pillar' of data and information related to a single parameter, instrument or method. Datasets must be described by a metadata record. A Series can contain one or more datasets.

A Report is defined as a set of documents relating to part, or the whole of a survey or data collection campaign. Final versions rather than drafts should be provided and reports must be described by a metadata record. A Series can contain one or more reports.

The Crown Estate's requirements for metadata are:

Series - MEDIN Discovery Standard (series metadata).

Dataset - MEDIN Discovery Standard (dataset metadata).

Report - The Crown Estate Report Metadata.

The spatial reference system of data should be fully defined.

Where appropriate, The Crown Estate will use the MEDIN Data Guidelines as a pro forma for quality control of data received. This means that, as a minimum, The Crown Estate expects that data provided contain all of the mandatory details identified by the appropriate MEDIN data guideline.

MEDIN provide free workshops to help users understand MEDIN metadata and data guidelines. We recommend that you sign up to one of these workshops should you be working with marine data.

 MEDIN sponsor