Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission


Basemaps is a map service to access Baltic Sea maritime spatial planning (MSP) data from the original source where it is stored.  It contains links to OGC standard services available from national Maritime Spatial Data Infrastructure (MSDI) in HELCOM Contracting Parties.

Data in Basemaps is categorized to “Input data” which is data that is relevant in MSP process and “Output data“, which is spatial data resulting from the MSP plan harmonized according to HELCOM‐VASAB Guidelines on transboundary MSP output data structure.

The difference between HELCOM Map and Data Service (MADS) and Basemaps is that MADS data is stored in a central HELCOM database whereas in Basemaps metadata and data is accessed from the original source. The Basemaps guide contains detailed instructions to use the tool.

The story of Basemaps (BAltic SEa MAP Service) dates back to 2012 when a project called BaltSeaPlan recommended building a tool to access Baltic Sea decentralized MSP data based on Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure (MSDI). Planners realized there was a need to work with transboundary and up-to-date data that was reliable to make their own national MSP plans.

Working with centralized database solutions was (and still is to large extent) the best option to get a large amount of harmonized data from data providers. However, these centralized databases do not guarantee that the data is up to date. Planners needed a solution to get data published and maintained by the original official source.

That solution is called Basemaps.

Basemaps allows users to view and download data/metadata published by national data providers through OGC open geospatial standards—WMS and WFS. It is also possible to access downloadable services and ArcGIS REST Map layers. It is aimed for planners, data providers and authorities dealing with maritime spatial planning in the Baltic Sea.

Basemaps was developed in the Baltic LINes project. Check out the rest of the outputs in the official web page. The development was continued in PanBalticScope project (EASME 2018-2019) by expanding the application to include section on output data (Maritime Spatial Plans as defined by BSR MSP Data Expert Sub-group).