The database, first released in August 1995, has become Europe's most popular on-line GIS database for an international transboundary region. The Baltic Sea region fully or partially encompasses the following riparian countries; Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and Sweden, and the following peripheral states; Belarus, Czech Republic, Norway, Slovakia and Ukraine. The database has a GIS section, with the data available in ArcInfo, Idrisi and now MapInfo formats, a maps section with ready-made cartographics in several common graphics formats, and a statistics section with derived statistisc from the GIS database. The database features, inter alia, land cover, administrative units, population distribution, arable & pasture lands, and wetland distributions in scales 1:1mill. and smaller.
The database has been used inter alia by the intergovernmental HELCOM and Baltic 21 for high level policy-making, a large number of research projects, the environmental management community and by the general public. On a weekly basis there are around 1,000 visitors to the database, and around 2-300 GIS data sets (in ArcInfo and Idrisi formats) and ready-made cartographics are being downloaded. The availability of the database in MapInfo format most likely will boost this figures, as MapInfo is a very commonly used GIS software tool in the region.
The conversion of the data to MapInfo, was kindly done by an indepent GIS expert, Mr. Mats Elfstrom, (firstname.lastname@example.org) for GRID-Arendal and the MapInfo user community.
For more information, please contact
Editor: Åke Bjørke.