The challenge for the IMS-GIS data centre is to generate and integrate 5 data systems in 5 different islands, which lie remotely in the South Atlantic Ocean from the Equator to Antarctica and all have very basic internet and general communication connection with the rest of the countries (world). 

The ambitious goal would be achieved through a thoughtful strategy based on collaboration with the local governments and other public/private organisations. An integrated information system will be reached by having the stakeholders working in synergy and on pulling together the skills and knowledge of local and external IT and data experts.

The islands are different realities not only from a geographical point of view but also in terms of needs and priorities as far as data management is concerned. Thus, the information system has to be flexible enough to cope with differences although it tries to implement standards and consistency in terms of data management and data security across the wide South Atlantic region.

The overall architecture of the IMS-GIS data centre. Hover the various parts of the figure and their meaning will be unveiled.

Each territory, with the exception of South Georgia, whose data are managed by the British Antarctic Survey and stored in Cambridge, will have a data server where data belonging to the island will be stored. The quantity of data stored by the server will vary according to islands and also will depend on how many datasets are given in custody of the data manager by the governmental departments, by researchers and NGOs working on the territories, by industries operating on the territories. Data about each territory may also be stored in databases and maintained by organisations which are external to the territory but related to them through working/research collaboration. The metadata will inform on the location of the data and on the name of the person to be contacted in order to retrieve the data.    

The server hosting the data of each territory will be under the full responsibility and management of the data manager and the IT support will be provided by the local government. Within each server data are going to be store using a standard folder structure that will be common for each of the SA UKOTs. The folder structure reflects the “topic category” field which is part of the metadata form. The decision was made as it simplify the search for data in the server.