This customer-required approach for a user-view quality assessment led the Mediterranean checkpoint to design and implement an assessment framework which supports the checkpoint concept, a system and service solution to objectify, standardize and attempt to quantify the evaluation results (SMART indicators).

The general synopsis of the checkpoint concept is shown in the figure below: from scoping it goes to an information framework and to reporting quality and gaps using web tools and services.

The implementation is based on :

  • The quality concept of ISO 9000 as the “Degree to which a set of inherent characteristics fulfills requirements” describe how to apply the concept to assess the adequacy of the input datasets and the challenge products making use of them,
  • The INSPIRE Directive for the European Spatial Data Infrastructure, and the ISO standards for Geographical Information (ISO 19115 “Metadata, ISO 19157 “Data Quality” and ISO 19131 “Data Product Specification”),
  • The use of dictionaries of the SeaDataNet European marine data network for parameter identification and classification,
  • The definition of specification of needs for production (so-called DATA PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS) and the definition of quality indicators (that is upon availability completeness, logical consistency, thematic accuracy, temporal quality and positional accuracy.) and following the SMART principles (Significant, Measurable, for Actionable information, Reproducible, Time-bound /managed for enhancement)

  • 3 technologies leverage :
    • A GIS database for the cataloging the source data and products including links between requirements for making the products, assessment on product realized (so-called TARGETED DATA PRODUCT) and input data used (so-called UPSTREAM DATA),
    • A dashboard tool for aggregating and scoring raw metadata and indicators of GIS database and computation of statistics in order to offer a dynamic and synthesis display to allow non-expert public to easily assess the fitness for use without spending a lot of time looking at metadata and checkpoint reports, 
    • A web service for visualization of GIS map layers,
    • A web service for communication and presentation of all checkpoint results, and other delivery formats of products (such as pdf reports, excel files).
  • A workflow process as shown below

For the time being the implementing tools have a twofold capacity within the project:

  • As internal tools for the data management team to run analysis and report on the data landscape,
  • As an interface with the outside world, with a focus on data providers but also serving the wider research and industry community.

They were designed to enable users to rapidly check issues about, and progress in data adequacy which can be seen as threefold:

  • Data gaps: where is monitoring lacking?
  • Insufficient assembly: datasets remain scattered
  • Data sourcing issues: access to data is difficult.