The ARCTIS Database

The Centre for High North Logistics has established an online database ARCTIS (Arctic Resources & Transportation Information System) - a knowledge hub that strives to provide the best available information on non-living resources, shipping and logistics in the Arctic, and be the preferred gateway to know-how on shipping and logistics for businesses, governments and the research community.
ARCTIS will pursue a dissemination role for the international research community by making research results and results of demonstrations/case studies known to key stakeholders in as user-friendly and transparent way as possible. The aim is to make scientific reports searchable and more understandable for the shipping and logistics industry so latest research results can be included in their decision-making process and business development. This might contribute to more economically viable, doable, and environmentally friendly transport and logistics solutions for the Arctic.

Figure: The signing of the contract agreement with CognIT for the design of the ARCTIS database on the 31st of March 2011 in Lysaker, Oslo. From left: Dr. Bjørn Gunnarsson, Managing Director of CHNL, Mr. Harald Falsen, Managing Director of CognIT, Mrs. Kristin Omholt-Jensen former Managing Director of CHNL, and Mr. Felix Tschudi, Owner of the Tschudi Shipping Company and Chairman of CHNL’s Board of Directors.

1st Phase: Software Development (March 2011 to April 2012)
The ARCTIS Project was initiated in March 2011 when CHNL made a contract with the IT- company CognIT in Oslo to undertake software and technical development of ARCTIS. During the year 2011 work took place on ARCTIS design; organizational structure and functions; search features; editorial process and publishing procedures; as well as on the main focus areas to be addressed by the database and different ways to display the content material. This work also included performing an interest analysis and identifying the main users/target groups, and defining various cost elements and suggesting a model for a sustainable operation of ARCTIS.

The work took place in several steering group meetings with representatives from the University of Tromsø (Department of Engineering & Safety and the Barents Institute), Ocean Futures, CognIT and CHNL. Software development of the ARCTIS database was largely completed in April of 2012, but further improvements and modifications of the database structure and search features took place throughout 2012. This task was not fully completed until January 2013.

2nd Phase: Organization of Database Content (May 2012 to December 2013)
The 8 main focus areas of ARCTIS were further divided into more than 50 sub‐topics/themes. The main focus areas were chosen to be the following: a) Arctic Sea Routes; b) Arctic Marine Transport & Logistics; c) Arctic Transportation Research; d) Arctic Energy & Mineral Resources; e) Arctic Sea Ice & Climatology; f) Arctic Maps & Charts; g) Arctic Policies & Governance; and h) People, Industries & Institutions in the Arctic.

The CHNL’s Managing Director became the Chief Editor of ARCTIS and the Head of CHNL’s NSR IO became the System Administrator. Decision was made that each subtopic/theme in ARCTIS would have its own Theme Editor responsible for the updating of information and data, and quality control. A list of possible Theme Editors was generated and their roles and responsibilities defined. Theme Editors were not selected in 2012. Copyright guidelines for ARCTIS were also defined.

Loading of initial content to the database began in 2012 – including a large number of articles from CHNL’ sponsored Shipping in Arctic Waters Report, the AMSA report, Lloyd’s Risk Report 2012, and all 167 INSTOP Working Papers (alone more than 10,000 pages). Unofficial launch of ARCTIS was done in November 2012 when the database was opened to about 100 beta‐users or champions, i.e. individuals representing key organizations in need of this type of information (commercial shipping, public authorities and research/educational institutions). This was done to get a feedback on the current structure of ARCTIS and ask for suggestions for modification and improvements before the official launch.

Figure: CHNL’s display booth during the official launch of ARCTIS at the Arctic Frontiers Conference in Tromsø on January 24th, 2013 -- photo of Sergey Balmasov, Head of CHNL’s NSR Information Office (NSR IO) and System Administrator of ARCTIS.

Figure: Official launch of ARCTIS at the Arctic Frontiers Conference in Tromsø on January 24th, 2013 – photo from the left to right:  Lt. Governor of Alaska, Mr. Mead Treadwell, Dr. Bjørn Gunnarsson, Managing Director of CHNL, Mr. Sergey Balmasov, Head of CHNL’s NSR IO, and Mr. Felix Tschudi, Chairman of CHNL’s Board of Directors.

Figure: Official launch of ARCTIS at the Arctic Frontiers Conference in Tromsø on January 24th, 2013 -- photo of Dr. Bjørn Gunnarsson, Managing Director of CHNL and Chief Editor of ARCTIS.

3rd Phase: Final Project Development (January to December 2013)
ARCTIS was officially launched during the Arctic Frontiers Conference in Tromsø on January 24th, 2013, with the information/data which has already been collected at that time. The web address is

The main activity in 2013 was the selection of Theme Editors and then uploading of new articles and data to ARCTIS provided by each theme editor. Only well established and respected researchers and professionals were recruited as ARCTIS Theme Editors from international leading research organizations and industry. The role and responsibilities of ARCTIS Theme Editors were defined. Each will serve an initial two year term which could upon mutual agreement be extended for another two years. Each Theme Editor will be responsible for the selection of the most relevant and up‐to‐date articles and data for his/her chosen theme, as well as suggesting URL‐links to additional and perhaps more detailed information and data sets of significance. Before an article is published in ARCTIS it is peer‐reviewed by the particular Theme Editor and his/her group of experts.

Furthermore, initial promotion and marketing of ARCTIS to possible sponsors and to our three identified target groups took place in 2013 – i.e., maritime‐logistics and resource‐exploitation industries; governmental authorities; and universities/research institutions. Marketing materials included flyers, brochures, posters, internet (Google), PP presentations at conferences/workshops, and scheduled information meetings. Work included working on a sustainable financial model for the operation of the ARCTIS beyond 2013.

< Back
CHNL: Postboks 107. 9915 Kirkenes / Radhusgata 8, N-9915 KIRKENES / PH: ++47 916 29 170 / E-mail:
Developed by Maritime Colours. Powered by PublishOnline