Esri's Ocean Initiative
2012 Society for Conservation Biology North America Congress for Conservation Biology
July 15-18, 2012, Oakland, CA
Special Symposium SYM38: Advances, Challenges and Future Directions in Geospatial Technology to Support Open Ocean and Deep Sea Conservation and Management
To assist public and government entities with understanding their role in ocean management, Esri has funded the development of SeaSketch, a new tool to build optimized geospatial decisions through active engagement with all stakeholders. As completed by the UCSB team that co-created MarineMap, the tool will enable marine spatial planning on local, regional, national and global scales. Combining this tool with the robust toolkit present in Duke University's Marine Geospatial Ecology Tools (MGET) will create additional avenues of research to manage ecosystems (for example, in the vicinity of seamounts). Esri is also working with Conservation International and UCSB's Center for Marine Assessment and Planning to improve the visibility and utility of the Ocean Health Index. In another example, Esri is assisting a major seafood harvester in maintaining Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification and optimized ecosystem management within their independently-verified self-managed fisheries.
These data can be integrated into a variety of basemap products now available in ArcGIS Online, to bring public appreciation of their actions on the ocean and visualize the impact of those actions. Esri continues to build other ocean web data layers to provide a common operating map for context of geospatial planning. New Esri maritime technologies are bringing new capability to marine science research by improving data management and significantly increasing visualization speed of high-density bathymetric data sets. By combining oceanographi research and commercial data in novel ways, Esri will continue to build tools to enable scientific insight into ocean processes and bring rational thought and geodesign to the marine science field.
INDEX TERMS: BIOGEOSCIENCES / Marine systems, fisheries; INFORMATICS / GIS science; PLANNING / Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning; CONSERVATION / marine reserves, marine protected areas, open ocean management.