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Spring 2013 Monterey Bay Marine GIS User Group Meeting
The third meeting of the Monterey Bay Marine GIS User Group was held on Thursday, April 11, 2013, at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, Monterey, California. A GIS (geographic information system) is a computer-based system for storing, manipulating, analyzing, and managing all types of geographically referenced information. The goals of this user group are to foster collaboration among academic institutions, the private sector, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the Monterey Bay marine GIS science community; to facilitate hands-on GIS training; and to increase awareness of marine spatial data sets within the broader GIS science community in the Monterey Bay area.
Approximately 70 members of the coastal and marine community, including GIS users, marine scientists, and policy makers, gathered for a morning of networking and presentations that focused on GIS in scientific research and software tools for more effective use of GIS. An afternoon workshop on SeaSketch (a tool for collaborative ocean planning; http://mcclintock.msi.ucsb.edu/projects/seasketch) was also held to support GIS training for user-group members.
The first speaker, Nadine Golden of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, began the day with a demonstration of the California Seafloor Mapping Program Video Data Portal currently under development.
Next, Chris Romsos of Oregon State University and Mary Yoklavich of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA NMFS) demonstrated an online GIS data catalog developed to support a review of essential fish habitat for Pacific coast groundfish (http://efh-catalog.coas.oregonstate.edu/overview/).
Lee Brinton, a member of the Esri Maritime team, gave a presentation on managing and sharing bathymetric data with “ArcGIS for Maritime: Bathymetry” (http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/extensions/maritime/bathymetry). Also from Esri, Shaun Walbridge, an ocean engineer and developer of the updated Benthic Terrain Modeler tool (BTM; http://www.csc.noaa.gov/digitalcoast/tools/btm), gave a presentation about the past and future of the BTM tool. Walbridge also told the group about progress on an update of the ArcMarine Data Model (http://blogs.esri.com/esri/arcgis/2013/04/03/setting-a-new-course-for-the-arc-marine-data-model/).
Dori Dick of Oregon State University presented geneGIS (http://genegis.org/), a computational tool for spatial analysis of individual-based genetic and photo-identification data of whales and dolphins.
The final speaker of the morning, Will McClintock of the University of California, Santa Barbara, gave a brief overview of SeaSketch, discussed where and how SeaSketch is being used for marine spatial planning around the world, and outlined the goals and tasks for the afternoon SeaSketch workshop.
After a break for lunch, participants in the SeaSketch workshop gathered again at the meeting site. They saw a demonstration by SeaSketch developers and workshop instructors Will McClintock and Evan Thomas Paul (University of California, Santa Cruz), created new SeaSketch projects of their own, and learned how to configure SeaSketch for gathering information from large groups of voluntary contributors (“crowdsourcing”) as well as from experts. Participants published a map service to ArcGIS Server (that is, they placed geographic data online in a form that allows Internet users to use the data in web, desktop GIS, and other applications), and they configured SeaSketch “Sketch Classes” to gather input from end users on where and how ocean space is managed. McClintock and Thomas Paul closed by teaching participants how to configure web-based discussion forums to foster stakeholder communication and collaboration, and how to secure SeaSketch features (map services, surveys, discussion forums) for access by private groups but not the general public.The Monterey Bay Marine GIS User Group will meet again in spring 2014; details will be announced on the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center website (http://swfsc.noaa.gov/MontereyBayGIS/). For any questions about the Monterey Bay Marine GIS User Group or its meetings, please contact Lisa Wedding at firstname.lastname@example.org or Nadine Golden at email@example.com.
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