SOCIB joins efforts to provide imaging data and services for aquatic science in the frame of the iMagine Horizon Europe project

As part of the Horizon Europe project “iMagine - Imaging data and services for aquatic science”, coordinated by Stichting EGI, in Belgium, the Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System (SOCIB) has participated in the “iMagine Competence Centre Workshop”. Hosted at the premises of the Institut de la Mer de Villefranche of the Sorbonne University during the first quarter of the year, the workshop has brought together the Use Cases and the Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform providers from the project, who work in the iMagine Competence Centre, in order to eliminate technical roadblocks that would hinder platform adoption and implementation progress with the use cases.

Until August 2025, the iMagine project will provide a portfolio of free-at-the-point-of-use image datasets, high-performance image analysis tools empowered with AI, and Best Practice documents for scientific image analysis. These services and materials will “enable better and more efficient processing and analysis of imaging data in marine and freshwater research, accelerating our scientific insights about processes and measures relevant to healthy oceans, seas, and coastal and inland waters,” says Joaquín Tintoré, director of the SOCIB.

In particular, the Beach Monitoring Facility of the SOCIB is currently working on the development of a prototype service for processing video images from beach cameras, in order to monitor the formation and dismantling events of seagrass beach berms (Posidonia oceanica) and detect rip currents. “Detection of rip-currents will contribute to developing a real-time warning system for beach recreation. Furthermore, their characterization will help to gain knowledge on sediment transport processes and beach erosion/accretion patterns related to rip currents,” highlights Angels Fernández, head of the Beach Monitoring Facility at SOCIB.

In addition, the iMagine consortium will also develop five operational and another two prototype AI-based image analysis services with image repositories, highly relevant for the aquatic sector. All services will be available for open access and exploitation by researchers. These will demonstrate value and foster further uptake.

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