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|Atlas of the lagoon - Venice between land and sea|
The number of public organisations studying the Lagoon of Venice is considerable, the quantity of data is striking, and the number of people involved is truly remarkable. Despite this, many extremely interesting studies are never publicised beyond the circles in which they were produced, giving rise to a sort of “lagoon of submerged data”. The creation of this volume was driven by a desire for the systematic studies conducted by dozens of researchers on the Lagoon of Venice to be brought together in a single volume linked by a common thread. There was also an awareness of the need to create a common information platform, shared and publicly accessible, which could provide the starting point for all discussion of the Lagoon environment.
The opportunity arose with the setting-up of the Osservatorio Naturalistico della Laguna. This structure was created by Venice City Council, a special project put forward by the councillor in charge of the Environment. It was stipulated that the work of the Osservatorio should be entirely directed towards the creation of the Atlas of the Lagoon of Venice, which was prepared with a strong cooperation with the Institute of Marine Sciences of the National Research Council.
The Atlas of Venice Lagoon is the result of the work of a scientific team composed of a large number of scholars and researchers from the various scientific institutions of the city and compiled with the intent of divulging the many themes concerning the complex ecosystem of the Venetian Lagoon to as large a proportion of the population as possible.
The Atlas is divided into five main thematic sections: Geosphere (climate, geology and geomorphology, water), Biosphere (animals, plants), Anthroposphere (pollution, territorial transformation), Protected Environments (social dynamics, administrative controls) and Integrated Analyses (combinations of themes, and relations between them).
The 103 plates and their description can be consulted trough an Open Source webGIS, a web tool which allows users to search zones of interest and to dimension, print and download maps.
Atlas design and usability
Data/cartographic information included
The challenge is to implement a proper Lagoon Information System (SIL), a geodatabase, running with open-source web-GIS software, by which environmental thematic maps produced by a variety of public bodies would be available from a single Internet portal (www.silvenezia.it). The system will give the possibility to overlap thematic maps for cross-analysis, provided directly from data producers through WMS technology (We Map Services), and to record observations made by the general public, specialists or local authority officers.
SIL project represents the Atlas evolution, i.e. the challenge of spreading environmental data of the Lagoon of Venice. Instead of the Atlas, SIL won’t be a static maps collection but a dynamic tool continually updated.
Unfortunately, severe funding restrictions are causing a slowdown of the management plan development and intellectual Property Rights could be a problem in some cases.
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