NTU HIGHLIGHTS December 2017  
  Research Achievements  

Ocean Data Bank Provides Real-Time Oceanographic Information for the Nation

The Ministry of Science and Technology's Ocean Data Bank (ODB) has evolved from the marine conditions database first established by the Institute of Oceanography with the support of the ministry's forerunner, National Science Council, 31 years ago. Since its inception, the ODB has served as the “Central Weather Bureau” of oceanographic information for oceanographers and marine engineers, compiling and processing the wide range of physical, chemical, biological, geological, and geophysical oceanographic information gathered by the nation's research vessels and marine surveys.

For several decades, the Institute of Oceanography has beenresponsible for ODB operations and actively involved in guiding data analysis across several fields. Going well beyond conventional data curation, the institute has steadily developed the ODB into a national-level marine database that plays an active role in the collection and integration of data, data analysis, data visualization, and information dissemination.

When called upon, the ODB provides vital real-time information for related government agencies. For example, the database assisted search and rescue operations following the crash of China Airlines Flight 611, and provided background data for fishing ground negotiations between Taiwan and Japan. In addition, it provides tidal predictions for Taiping Island in the South China Sea to assist ships in safely making port, and provides data to assist in site selection for offshore wind turbines.

The Institute of Oceanography continues to develop innovative technologies in its effort to provide useful real-time data tools for the ODB. The institute's development approach for the ODB is represented by three words starting with the letter “i”: interactive, intuitive, and integrated—which reflect the establishment and operation of an Interactive data query platform, an Intuitive operating interface, and an Integrated inter-database information system.

The powerful array of data applications offered by the ODB provides valuable backup to the scientists who carry out sea exploration missions around Taiwan. In addition to supporting research, the ODB's multifaceted services are available to government and industry, as well, and boost Taiwan's emergency response readiness for marine accidents and natural disasters. The Institute of Oceanography also uses the database to promote environmental protection and share the joys of science with the public.

The ODB has added three innovative services recently. The Bio-Ocean Database allows users to search for information regarding the abundance of zooplankton and marine animals in the waters surrounding Taiwan based on such criteria as species type and sampling location.

Another new service is a real-time monitoring system for oceanic operations. The system displays information concerning the current location and status of vessels and devices deployed at sea, such as the Institute of Oceanography's Ocean Researcher I and Seaglider autonomous underwater vehicles.

Meanwhile, the Interactive Marine Information Digital Exhibition Center presents a wide range of important oceanographic information on a single web-based platform. Featuring information collected from marine buoys and satellite telemetry, the all-in-one platform is a valuable tool for researchers and laypersons alike.