How we do it: Data collation

We gather large amounts of data in SEAmBOTH. A very simple goal of the project is combining national datasets into a common one for the Bothnian Bay. Mostly the data is almost identical, and the process is straight forward, but sometimes it’s not really compatible, which means we must get creative.

In the data itself, there are a lot of factors to consider. The timeline should be the same and sometimes we might not have the same units in use. In SEAmBoth, we have chosen to use data from 2010-2015, since that time frame we can rely on being available from both countries. It’s not too old and the temporal window is big enough.

In addition, the types of the geometry may vary. For example, Finland has the sea lanes as lines (black) and Sweden as polygons (green). The polygons could be transformed into lines, but the process is quite time consuming and the lanes are mainly used as a human pressure indicator. It’s a lot easier to transform the Finnish lanes to polygons and combine the two. So that’s what we did.

Finnish and Swedish sea lanes presented as lines and polygons (Illustration by Jaakko Haapamäki, Metsähallitus)
The same sea lanes after they have been combined into one shape (Illustration by Jaakko Haapamäki, Metsähallitus)

With most of the data we only have to merge it into one layer and even the ones that need work are usually very simple to put together. However,  when you gather them all up, they make for a pretty elaborate mesh of human pressures, environmental variables and existing mapping data, in which we’ll later use for modeling our end results.

Written by Jaakko Haapamäki, Metsähallitus

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