The Pôle Océan is one of the four national portals created for French research institutes for coordinated management and centralised access to data. The other portals are Solid Earth, Continental surfaces and Atmosphere.
Each data portal seeks to facilitate access to satellite, airborne and in situ data acquired and handled by research laboratories or consortiums, by national infrastructures such as the National Observation Services (SNO), SOERE, research vessels, airplanes and space missions.
IFEMER is in charge of the implementation and coordination of the Ocean data portal. The main mission of this data centre is to provide data, software products, tools and/or services intended mainly for the French scientific community to carry out studies on the characterisation and evolution of the ocean as well as understanding its processes.
This data centre strives to take into account all the geo-localised observation data and products involving the ocean and make them available in digital form. These data cover a wide range of disciplines. They include all time and spatial scales. The Ocean Data Centre collaborates closely with operational services with which it shares a large number of observation networks and datasets. It also offers the possibility to carry out exploratory studies required for the creation of future operational services.
The Pôle Océan, like the other data centres, endeavours to make available and produce, under the supervision of experts, qualified, annotated data series to allow use in accordance with the highest standards. They collect priority observations accompanied by qualified metadata, organised and structured such that interoperability is possible (levels L1 and L2). It is also possible to store data sets that are more poorly described, raw data (level L0) and are preparing the digitalisation of old data sets. If necessary, the data are homogenised, reformatted and completed by the data centres that distribute them. The data centres also produce processed data sets (level L2) for land-based or space-based observation structures.
To assist the use of the information contained in the databases, the data centre provides exploration, visualisation, extraction and analysis tools as well as the appropriate computational resources.