COMEX is working on a future proof definition of the European Waterway Network.

From big ports to tiny traffic lights (signal stations) a lot of objects are to be considered. Infrastructure such as locks and bridges causes limitations to navigation. In addition Inland Waters are a very dynamic environment, water levels rise and fall implying changing available depth and vertical clearance.

In RIS COMEX Sub-Activity 5.3 a group of experts is specifying a relational geo database, the so-called “RIS Index 3000”, offering capabilities to include the characteristics of all the European Waterway Network. Different requirements of local authorities need to be reflected but also the environment differs reaching from tidal influenced river mouths, free flowing river sections or canals to lakes. The Waterway Network is full of surprises also for the experts, to name one: a lock basin with three different exits in Flanders.

The physical links (network sections) may include information on the permissible dimensions and also travelling times. In the future this data base could be the basis for enhanced services such as route and voyage planning. Of course, requirements of existing RIS Services such as Notices to Skippers, Electronic Reporting, Inland ECDIS and Inland AIS are taken into account.

The RIS Index 3000 is based on the RIS Index developed by the Joint Task Force RIS Index and the VisuRIS COMEX Reference Network Model implemented in RIS COMEX Activity 3. It shall serve as a harmonized, application/project independent definition for the Waterway Network. The relation to existing standards and definitions is evaluated such as INSPIRE, TENtec, DATEX II.

All in all, a lot of (home)work for the experts that met online in the last months. The next web conference is scheduled for September 22nd. Considering the scope of this activity works on the RIS Index 3000 will carry-on, at least until the end of the project lifetime of RIS COMEX.

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