The Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT) data management program for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is, to our knowledge, the largest shoreline spill data management effort in history, still currently providing continuous data management of over 35,000 separate surveys covering over 22,000 survey-miles of shoreline and tens of millions of individual pieces of data. The program flexibly expanded the scope of coverage to support the changing requirements of survey and cleanup over the response, from surface and subsurface oiling survey data to treatment and administrative status, while maintaining backward compatibility and constant availability for planning and analysis. While we hope many of the tools and products developed will be of value in near-term future spill responses, we are less clear on the specific recommendations we can make to data managers during the next nationally significant spill in 10 or 20 years. The differing needs of each spill, varying levels of agency and industry personnel participation, and the inevitable and increasingly rapid change in software and information technology environments, all point to the need for a different way forward. We feel the most important contribution we can make is the recommendation of an open data standard for shoreline oiling and related data management, allowing interested parties in future responses to be assured of data interoperability, transparency, and data quality, while permitting required flexibility. We propose such a standard here. The proposed data standard does not compete with or supplant any existing vendor or solution, and is completely agnostic about physical spill environment, data collection methods, algorithms, software and computing environment. The standard requires only the most basic structured data so as to preserve the maximum flexibility for spill specific conditions and the unanticipated needs of future data collection. The core components are spatial geometry, temporal relationship, and database attribute and relationship requirements for storing and querying oiling, response, and administrative status via standard geometries over multiple time periods. We present generic entity-relationship diagrams and example core and expansion data structures that outline the proposed standard. In the same way that SCAT methodology protocols and terminology have been adopted across the spill response community by agency and industry, we suggest a core standard for storage and analysis of shoreline oiling and response data. This standard reflects, we hope, a root-level understanding of the purpose and scope of SCAT and related data, and imposes only the minimum uniformity required to be of use.

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