Integrated Science Data Management (ISDM)
Providing Access to Ocean Data
ISDM's mandate is to manage and archive ocean data collected by DFO, or acquired through national and international programmes conducted in ocean areas adjacent to Canada, and to disseminate data, data products, and services to the marine community in accordance with the policies of the Department.
The Integrated Science Data Management (ISDM) was formed in 2006 from the merging of two groups: the Marine Environmental Data Service (MEDS) and the Engineering Development and Geomatics Service of the Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS), both of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).
MEDS had been established in 1969 to coordinate the Canadian Wave Climate Study. It was significantly enlarged in 1973, when the Tides and Water Levels Section of the Canadian Hydrographic Service and the Canadian Oceanographic Data Centre (established in 1962) were incorporated into it.
Data Management, Archival and Dissemination
Data management, archival and dissemination of physical oceanographic data and data products on national and international scales is still a key component of ISDM mandate, however it has since been broadened to include chemical and biological oceanography.
The Canadian primary area of interest is 35 to 90 degrees North latitude and 40 to 180 degrees West longitude but for some specialized data types and programmes the area of interest is global. Real-time, near real-time or historical data are made available as appropriate.
Physical, chemical and biological data collected by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans are today managed by a distributed system of archive centres within DFO.
Policy, Standards, and Responsibilities
Policy, standards, and responsibilities are developed by the National Science Data Management Committee (NSDMC) chaired by ISDM with members from all DFO regions that collect the data. The NSDMC was formed in 2005, building on a previous committee known as the National Data Management Committee (1997). It is mandated to coordinate and standardize data processing, archival, and access procedures and policies for the Ecosystems and Oceans Science sector. ISDM and the regional centres thus provide coordinated data, data products and services to the marine community.