ESRI Marine Special Interest Group Meeting (Marine Data Model)

ESRI International User Conference

Tuesday, July 9th, 5:30 p.m., Marina E (Marriott), San Diego, CA


Approximately 65 in attendance first half of meeting, 44 second half


Introduction (Joe Breman, ESRI)

-       welcome and introduction of special interest group (SIG), brief history of group, having started last year with 40-50 members and now has grown to 1500

-       Wave newsletter

-       Background on ArcGIS Marine Data Model

-       Overview of capabilities in ArcGIS 8.2 for marine applications


ArcScene 8.2 Demo with data from N. Israeli coast

-       base heights ­ can adjust to see effects on coastline (offset of sea surface) ­ high and low tide

-       animation of high and low tide (adjusting for base heights of surface layer)

-       fly-through INTO water column, looking back up to surface from within the water column

-       tracking of boat or mammals underwater, tracking within the water column

-       flip surface around

-       also Monterey Canyon ­ land terrain, sea surface, AND seafloor


Announcement of field trip to Scripps Institution of Oceanography, including their new Visualization Center,  and San Diego Supercomputer Center


Introducing the ArcGIS Marine Data Model (Dawn Wright, Oregon State)

Complete PowerPoint file on web at


Marine GIS Data Model: Example Data Problems for Marine Analysis (Pat Halpin, Duke)

Related PowerPoint file on web at


- ways to deal with a 2.5 D in a better way

- generic approach to simplify the problem ­ presentation of fundamental marine data types

- exploit functionality of ArcGIS

- Pink conceptual feature class diagram of marine data types ­ think of these as traditional ESRI feature classes

- Gulf of Maine ­ data-rich area, different kinds of data


Various data types:

-       Instantaneous points ­ snapshot ­ attributes are only good for that snapshot in time, must have the t-field, mammal sighting for example

-       Time duration points ­ fixed in space, recording continuously over time, such as a recording buoy, needs a time on/time off attribute

-       Time series points ­ fixed points, tracked as a time series, xyzt, and each feature (such an animal) in its own series

-       Vector (e.g., shoreline)

-       Time duration vector (lines have start and stop, such as a trawl ­ 1 attribute attached to each vector)

-       Time duration vector with effort ­ track of cruise, start and stop, maybe during different sections of a cruise

-       Area (e.g., marine boundary)

-       Region ­ collections of areas (polys)

-       Time duration area ­ areas persist temporarily, fixed location ³winks² on and off, such as areas where fishing is allowed or not allowed during the year

-       Raster

-       Raster time series ­ where you store the raw data but calculate things on the fly from the data (e.g., gradients that are fronts and then the distance to those fronts)


Generic model to start off with? Discussion questions


3-D Demos to Show Further Possibilities in Marine GIS (Tiffany Vance, NOAA Alaska Fisheries Science Center and Oregon State)


VRML (EVS and ArcView) - are these good representations of the kinds of things that people would like to do in AV? - don't want to leave anything out in creating the data model


Analysis rather than just display


Demo 1 - CTD and cast data, boreholes, atmospheric soundings, well logs

Cordell Bank - biogeographic visualization - 3D Analyst to VRML - kind of thing we'd want to be able to do in ArcGIS - bathy, surface, and vertical line to represent CTD cast


Demo 2 - salinity from same CTDs shown earlier - diagram created with EVS - CTD solids based on water temperature - EVS creates a 3D grid so that you can put an arbitrary slice through data - then take track of marine mammal through volume and analyze what temperate animal encountered ­ analyze why animal went where it did, trying to seek or avoid what it encountered


Questions/Comments (Responses)


Have we involved the International Maritime Organization in the model effort? - They don't do much with GIS but currently manage the world's maritime boundaries and ships - current recognition and use - ties to United Nations - good suggestion that we need to look in to. Closest tie that we probably have is with researchers from Veridian, who distribute and maintain a global maritime boundaries database and who are on the model review team.


Where is metadata in the data model? - handled already in generic geodatabase structure (metadata is part of the geodatabase) so we can focus more on the data collection and 3D limitations.


We need to involve submarine cable and military users in the model development ­ good suggestion that we need to look into. We have a couple of NAVOCEANO and NAVFAC personnel on the review team and many other NAVOCEANO people have expressed interest over the web. At the end of the month, Dawn Wright will be presenting a special seminar to the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center in Monterey, CA, which will include some info on the marine data model project. Dawn has also contacted Thales-Geosolutions and SAIC (submarine telecommunications division) to try to get the submarine cable community involved. She also referred them to the new pipeline data model project.


Parting Comments


Future of geodatabase is bright - new gdb design with topology rules should further encourage us marine types to "get our feet wet" (pun intended) in the geodatabase


ESRI is a business partner with EVS - 2 extensions - EVS for ArcGIS, - good examples with NOAA data - they have kriging, octant search for analysis, not just visualization for eye candy - extension is not as fully blown as other scientific visualization software but does provide very useful features such as temperature fence diagrams and other work with CTD data


3D visualization/animation vs. nitty-gritty analytical tasks - ESRI needs to see examples of the latter - instead of ESRI having to reinvent the wheel, one answer may be for them to become a business partner with some of these other companies


Adjourn: 7:10 p.m.