The IMOS Bio-Optical Data Base is unique in its nature as it collates all bio-optical data types collected by members of the Australian bio-optical community. The formats for the Bio-Optical Data Base were developed together with NASA’s Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry Program. As such the holdings compare well with the international standards. This central location of bio-optical data has allowed for easier uptake by international space agencies such as NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) and international projects such as ESA’s Ocean Colour Climate Change Initiative (OC-CCI) and working groups under the International Ocean-Colour Coordinating Group (IOCCG).
Nationally consistent evaluation of ocean colour products is achieved by match-up analysis using the Bio-Optical Data Base. Product uncertainty depends on optical complexity of the water mass as well as accuracy of the atmospheric correction. Coastal waters are usually more complex due to terrestrial inputs compared to the open ocean. IMOS has therefore adopted a classification of optical water types (OWT, Moore et al 2009) in the assessment of product accuracy.