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Title: Aquatic Litter Information System - Using Digital Technologies
Author: R Earll
Author: G Hall
Author: T Statter
Author: S Marriott
Author: Environment Agency
Document Type: Monograph
Annotation: Environment Agency Project ID:EAPRJOUT_404, Representation ID: 113, Object ID: 1746
There is growing awareness that aquatic litter is a very costly and damaging form of pollution. The outcome of a series of conferences during 1994-96 has been the establishment of a constituency of people from a wide spectrum of users who are actively engaged in aquatic litter research and management. There is a strong ethos among this group to base management measures on a sound information base. Fundamental to this is the understanding that if the source of aquatic litter can be established then effective preventative measures can be developed. The aim of this project was to enable different types of litter to be identified and linked to their input source. The opportunities for re-assessing technical publication with the development of a wide range of digital technologies is enormous. In relation to this project the use of photographs of litter items to facilitate identification opened up a range of novel possibilities. This project was undertaken to create a prototype of an information system (on a CD-ROM) for identifying aquatic litter using digital media technologies designed with the potential for use on the World Wide Web. The resulting Aquatic Litter Information System (ALIS) contains linked volumes which have been developed during the project. The primary design approach included text and images with an emphasis on the use of images. The development of the project, and in particular the use of the photographic images, prompted a re-appraisal of how sourcing aquatic litter could be undertaken. The sourcing part of the guide was orientated finally at socio-economic and input sources rather than identifying individual items. Because it is possible to view the litter items collectively from a particular source on the screen at one time e.g. sewage related debris or fishing, it is possible then to access specific information on items more easily. This also makes access to information on other aspects of that input e.g. impacts, costs, prevention, much more direct. Litter is a very visual form of pollution, and whilst photographs have been used to a limited extent in the past their use in publications has been constrained by the high costs of publishing. Modem digital technology is removing that constraint and the photographic images of individual items and groups of items, and litter in situ, enabled a number of issues to be demonstrated effectively. The ALIS project was demonstrated to the audience of a three day aquatic litter conference in 1996 and their reaction to the information system assessed. These reactions and the information from the development process have been discussed. Ideas for how further work using this technology can be taken forward have been outlined. It is recommended that information systems on an intemet site could be a significant way of enabling access and adding value to project information. This would couple the power of existing information, photographic and other graphics in the information system with focused project outcomes. The need for high quality technical information in the form of manuals has been recognised for many years. This project showed how, using this technology, many of the past limitations of such publications can now be successfully overcome in a cost-effective manner. R and D Draft TechnicalReport P53 1 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors would like to thank Tim Fanshawe and Mark Everard of Environment Agency, Norman Lowe of Welsh Water. Thanks are also due to Allan Williams for his support and MCS which allowed data and Beachwatch forms to be utilised. We would also like to thank Silicon Graphics and Peter Pearce for arranging the loan of the Indigo workstation and software and to Graham Higgins, BEL Electronic Publishing Associates for the CD ROM production and for making the site visible on PCas and Unix boxes. The project was a partnership between the Environment Agency, Welsh Water, The University of West of England and Marine Environmental Management and Training (MEM and T). All the photographs incorporated in the CD-ROM were provided by R.Earll of MEM and T who retains the copyright. The text was generated during the project by Bob Earll, or was derived from two multi-authored conference reports edited by R.Earll. The project was managed by Glenn Hall and Sue Marriott and the Java programming and meeting demonstration undertaken by Tom Statter. Thanks must also go to Delia Whitman for organising the logistics. R and D Draft TechnicalReport P53 1.
Publisher: Environment Agency
Subject Keywords: Pollution; Information systems; Aquatic litter; ALIS
Extent: 26
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