Global data: The links provide free marine data with a global extent
- NASA Global Change Master Directory (Oceans)
The GCMD is a high quality resource for the discovery, access, and use of Earth science data and data-related services worldwide, while specifically promoting the discovery and use of NASA data. The directory resource is targeted to serve as a valued location for sharing data from multinational sources. The GCMD contains marine datasets relating to fisheries, aquaculture, bathymetry, coastal processes, geology, volcanology, ocean chemistry, ocean circulation, physical ocean properties (temp, salinity, pressure), as well as water quality.
- NOAA National Climate Data Center
The NCDC is one of three submodules of NOAA’s National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS) with a focus on climate data. The NCDC provides access to global and U.S. environmental data from satellites and other sources including climate monitoring data at a range of temporal and spatial scales, records of extreme weather events (including storms and freeze/frost events), and a rainfall frequency atlas. The section ‘climate data online’ on the left of this page links to an online data viewer that can be customized to display/search all the NCDC’s marine datasets.
- NOAA National Geophysical Data Center
The NGDC is another of NOAA’s NESDIS data centers. The National Geophysical Data Center provides scientific stewardship, products and services for sea floor and lake bed data, including geophysics (gravity, magnetics, seismic reflection, bathymetry) and marine geology (ocean drilling data, well logs, crustal ages, indexed geologic samples). All the data on this site is searchable, and geophysical, marine geological, and bathymetric data can be viewed in separate online data viewers.
- Pew Foundation Sea Around Us Project
The Sea Around Us project was initiated in 1999 by Daniel Pauly to study the impact of fisheries on the marine ecosystems of the world. Data concerning fisheries, marine ecosystems, and marine ecology is updated at the scale of countries’ EEZs, LMEs, the high seas, and global maps and summaries. The project emphasizes time series of catch data starting in the 1950s, as well as related data such as government subsidies, catch value, and fishing gear used. Information is also offered on the historic expansion of fisheries, the performance of regional fisheries management organizations, and the likely impact of climate change on fisheries.
National (U.S.) data: The links provide free marine data with a national extent
- NOAA Coastal Services Center
NOAA’s CSC provides the technology, information, and management strategies used by local, state, and national organizations to address complex coastal issues. The CSC contains benthic cover, elevation, hydrographic, land cover, marine boundary and socioeconomic data for coastal environments in the United States that is both available for download and can be conveniently viewed in an online data viewer.
- NOAA National Marine Protected Areas Center
The MPA Center has collected, analyzed and mapped data on existing U.S. MPAs and human uses of the ocean. This site contains data and analysis projects that the MPA Center has completed or is currently working on. The site provides data that can be downloaded or viewed online pertaining to the U.S. MPA inventory, spatial maps of ocean uses, and analysis of U.S. MPAs.
- NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
This website highlights the uses of GIS in NMFS and provides a forum for exchanging knowledge between GIS practitioners at NMFS, NOAA, other Federal agencies, and the general public. The ‘Data’ section of this website is focused on directing GIS users to fisheries and habitat spatial data. In addition to NOAA Fisheries data, the ‘external’ section will link users to data that may be useful from other NOAA offices, other Federal agencies, and partners (such as NESDIS, USGS, and NOS). Provided fisheries data available for download includes critical habitats, endangered and threatened species’ boundaries, essential fish habitat, fish distribution, habitat conservation and restoration, marine mammal distribution, and satellite data.
- NOAA National Ocean Services Data Portal
The NOS Data Explorer Geoportal application provides centralized access to distributed NOS geospatial data including nautical charts, bathymetry, and shoreline data, coastal change and analysis data, benthic habitat maps, National Marine Sanctuaries boundaries and protected areas data, environmental sensitivity index maps, and physical oceanographic data from coastal and marine observatories.
Regional data: The links below provide free marine data for regions of North America
- NW Fisheries Center
One of the missions of the NWFSC is to conduct analysis and monitoring of fisheries resources. To support informed management of West Coast Groundfish stocks and their ecosystems, the West Coast Habitat Server provides nautical charts, bathymetry maps, maps of conservation areas, and habitat maps for fish, invertebrates, and seabirds. This site also contains political datasets and physical and biological oceanographic datasets.
- Northeast Ocean Data Portal
The Northeast ODP is a decision support and information system for managers, planners, scientists and project proponents involved in ocean planning in the region from the Gulf of Maine to Long Island Sound. In addition to providing access to data, the Portal also contains interactive maps, tools, and other information needed for decision making. Data have been filtered to focus on the NE region and streamline interoperability. Data are available for download from six categorical databases: administrative and regulatory, ocean uses, biology, physical oceanography, demographics, and cartography.
- Pacific Islands Benthic Habitat Mapping Center
The mission of the PIBHMC is to produce comprehensive digital maps of all coral reef habitats in the U.S. and its Trust Territories. This site contains geomorphological data and benthic habitat maps created and interpolated from towed camera sleds, in-situ observations, AUVs, and multibeam sonar devices. Data are available for the main and Northwest Hawaiian islands, Guam, American Samoa, and remote Pacific atolls.
California data: The links below provide free marine data for the state of California
- California Ocean Use Atlas
The California Ocean Uses Atlas Project is an innovative public-private partnership between NOAA’s Marine Protected Areas Center and Marine Conservation Biology Institute. The project is directed towards mapping the full range of significant human uses of the ocean in state and federal waters of the Coast of California. The Atlas contains spatial data for 26 ocean uses, separated into three categories (non-consumptive, fishing, and industrial/military), for four coastal regions within the state (southern, central, north central, and northern).
- California Department of Fish and Game
The CA DFG Marine Region (MR) GIS Lab is a state-of-the-art GIS and Remote Sensing facility which acquires and distributes spatial data related to the State’s coastline, bathymetry, fisheries, marine government and regulatory units, natural resources, seafloor characteristics, and marine habitat models. This site offers an interactive map for exploring and downloading relevant marine resource and planning data (MarineBIOS), as well as offline marine GIS data (Marine GIS Downloads). The BIOS layers include: points of interest, managed areas, habitats, and geographic references. The offline GIS layers include: Marine Protected Areas, bathymetry, management, and natural resource.
- State of CA Coastal Seafloor Maps
The Seafloor Mapping Lab (SFML at California State University Monterey Bay, specializes in high-resolution acoustic remote sensing for coastal habitats. Data presented in the SFML data library include a series of remotely sensed images (multibeam, side scan sonar), derived data (bathymetric contours, grid analyses, etc.), habitat analyses, and associated data sets (survey footprints, coastline) with FGDC metadata, grouped by survey location (Southern California, Monterey Bay, Central California, and Northern California).
Local data: The links below offer data on the following localities within CA
- San Diego Bay
The San Diego Marine Information Service provides data relating to maritime information, winds, tides and currents, and vessel schedules for marine resource users. Available data include: weather, Port tariffs and regulations, U.S. Customs requirements, a list of Port Services and even bay-related events.
- Monterey Bay
The USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program's Monterey Bay Region Internet Map Server contains backscatter imagery, basemaps, bathymetry maps, coastal data, earthquake data, geological data, navigation maps, shaded relief imagery, and surficial sediment data for the Monterey Bay region.
- San Francisco Bay
The USGS San Francisco Bay Area Regional Database (BARD), provides historical maps for the Bay area (15 min and 30 min), individual elevation (DEM) quandrangles (7.5 min/1:24,000 scale) and county-scale compressed Landsat and orthoimages. Links to other USGS data such as bathymetry are also provided.
- Channel Islands/Southern CA
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has conducted a benthic habitat mapping research project since 1999 to map the marine geological environment of the Channel Islands region in Southern California. This site provides links to download sidescan sonar images, bathymetry data, Scuba and ROV dive habitat observations, benthic habitat data, as well as several useful basemaps for the surveyed areas in the Channel Islands region.
Books and Other resources
- Marine GIS: GIS relevant literature in marine sciences (Web resource)
Although not updated since late 2004, this site notes books, journals, databases, and publications relevant to marine GIS.
- Arc Marine: GIS for a Blue Planet (2007) (Book held at Hopkins and Branner)
This ESRI book “presents the initial results of a successful effort to create and define a data model for the marine community … who support better management of complex spatial analysis in marine applications.” Additonal information about the Marine Data Model can be found at the Arc Marine website.
- Marine geography: GIS for the oceans and seas, Call number GC38.5.M37 2002 (Book held at Hopkins, Green, Branner)
The book “is a collection of case studies documenting some of the many applications of marine GIS in the field today.”
- Coastal and Marine Geo-Information Systems Applying the Technology to the Environment, Call number HT391.C4964 2003 (Book held at Hopkins and Branner)
This volume contains 40 chapters relating to the application of geospatial methods coastal and marine environments.
- Geographic information systems in oceanography and fisheries, Call number GC38.5.V35 2002 (Book held at Hopkins)
This book discusses conceptual issues on marine spatial thinking, looks at models and methods in coastal, continental shelf, and deep ocean studies, and examines online sources of spatially referenced data.
- Undersea with GIS, Call number G70.212.U54 2002 (Book held at Hopkins and Branner)
This ESRI book focuses on the way in which GIS is being integrated into the fields of oceanography, marine biology, and aquatic resource management.
- Marine and Coastal Geographical Information Systems, Call number GC10.4.R4 M37 2000 (Book held at Hopkins and Branner)
The book includes topics ranging from seafloor spreading to microscale coastal habitats. Techniques include submersibles, computer modelling, 3-D visualization, and spatial data structures.
- Numerous other books and conference proceedings are available through the libraries. Search Socrates under the terms:
- oceanography remote sensing
- marine geography
- geographic information systems databases (along with a location)
- combinations of the above terms.
- PowerPoint presentations for viewing: