February 2012: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP)/GRID-Arendal Marine Programme has released the January 2012 edition of its newsletter, featuring OCEANIDS, a new tool to find and examine public marine-related scientific datasets. The tool was developed with the non-Geographical Information System (GIS) expert end user in mind. The January newsletter also highlights recent and upcoming events related to marine issues.

According to the newsletter, OCEANIDS aims to provide an interdisciplinary and multi-thematic geospatial and metadata portal of public data and information. The GeoIQ technology behind OCEANIDS provides easy workflows and tools for users to search existing data, as well as upload their own spatial data. It allows users to visualise, combine datasets, make their own maps, and perform basic comparative analyses.

Among the recent marine-related events noted in the newsletter are: a World Bank “webinar” on the recent inter-agency report, “Green Economy in a Blue World;” and a meeting of the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism (GPST) in Washington DC, US, to finalize the project sustainability screening and evaluation process. [Publication: Marine Newsletter #1 2012]