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HELCOM Baltic data and mapping services

One of the main roles of HELCOM is to act as a regional environmental focal point providing information about the state of/trends in the marine environment and the efficiency of measures to protect the Baltic Sea. During recent years HELCOM has increasingly been using geographic information systems (GIS) for analysing data and to visualise complex scientific information on both static maps as well as interactive internet based maps.

According to the HELCOM data and information strategy, the HELCOM data and information activities should make it possible to produced assessments of pollution loads and their effects on the Baltic Sea marine environment, facilitate decision making of the Contracting Parties in environmental management, and make environmental information accessible of the general public.

On this page interested users can view a wide range of data on activities and pollution loads affecting the Baltic Sea marine environment, as well as information about monitoring activities and regional preparedness for accident response. Selected GIS datasets can also be downloaded from the HELCOM GIS data delivery service.


Data services


HELCOM Indicator database displays the data which has been submitted by the Contracting Parties to the HELCOM COMBINE database hosted by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES). Currently the database contains “water bottle data”, i.e. hydrography, nutrients and chlorophyll a. The user interface allows visualisation of the datasets and provides information about cruise reports. It is possible to download individual datasets via the interface; however, this function requires a password which can be requested via e-mail.  


bspa.jpgSearch the HELCOM BSPA Database for a wide range of information on Baltic Sea Protected Areas. The Database currently contains information on 111 sites, of which 90 are notified and designated by the Contracting States as BSPAs.


ddt.jpgDownload GIS data using the HELCOM GIS data download service. Click here for INSTRUCTIONS and more information.


You can view and download data and metadata produced by the EU funded project BALANCE (Baltic Sea Management – Nature Conservation and Sustainable Development of the Ecosystem through Spatial Planning).


Interactive web-based GIS maps


maris map.jpgMaritime Accident Response Information System, MARIS, has been created by compiling different existing datasets into a common format and under a single user interface. The purpose of MARIS is to help users visualize the risks of maritime transportation in the Baltic Sea and the capacity to handle these risks, concentrating mainly on the risk of oil pollution and the oil spill response equipment.  For more information about MARIS, click here.



SeaTrackWeb.jpgSeaTrackWeb is an official HELCOM oil drift forecasting system developed and administrated by SMHI and DAMSA with SINTEF oil weathering technology included. 



MSP_GIS.jpgThis HELCOM marine spatial planning tool is the first step in a process to develop a functional marine spatial planning system based on a Geographical Information System (GIS) application which provides access to relevant existing information on human activities and environmental parameters. For more information, click here.






The Baltic Nutrient GIS can be used to view different datasets related to nutrients discharged from point sources and measured at river mouths as well as the area specific loads per sub-region over a common background map. For more information about the Nutrient GIS interactive map service, click here.  




The HELCOM Combine monitoring GIS provides information on the monitoring stations used in the HELCOM Combine Monitoring Programme. Furthermore, this interactive map service indicated additional monitoring stations as compiled by the HELCOM MON-PRO Project. Users can see monitoring stations by country or view the stations at which specific parameters are measured. For each station there is also attribute information about the frequency of sampling of the various parameters.


fish.jpgThe Coastal fish monitoring GIS provides information on areas in the Baltic Sea where experimental surveys are carried out on cold and warm water fish as well as where sampling of commercial catches are made.  Metadata tables include, amongst other information, data on survey periods, methods used, species analysed, parameters measured, indices calculated as well as contact details. The interactive map also includes abundance information for selected fish species at some of the coastal monitoring stations. For more information about the background of this map service, please read About Coastal Fish Monitoring GIS.


helcom atlas.jpg

The HELCOM Atlas on protected areas offers you maps showing various Baltic environmental issues including Baltic Sea Protected Areas (BSPA's), oil spills and the catchment area. Take HELCOM's Baltic Safari around the Baltic and visit the 62 Baltic Sea Protected Areas (BSPA's).  



biblio.gifThe Baltic Marine Environment Bibliography is a geographical interface which enables you to search and retrieve bibliographic references (and associated full text documents) stored in the HELCOM database simply by selecting geographical areas or locations of interest and pushing the query button.


Some useful links to external databases and GIS services can be found here.


Last updated 25 March 2009