GIS Resources in Marine Sciences

Squid- Sea Life Image Archive / Dover Pictura Data Resources on the Web | Projects | California Data | Books and Other Resources


Data Resources on the Web


  • NOAA Fisheries Geographic Information Systems
    The GIS Data is focused on directing GIS users to NOAA fisheries spatial data as well as linking users to data that may be useful from other NOAA offices and federal agencies.


  • Davey Jones' Locker, Seafloor Mapping / Marine & Coastal GIS
    A web resource with many data links that is maintained by Dr. Dawn Wright and her graduate students at Oregon State University.


  • Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS)
    Data from the Florida State University's COAPS site includes scatterometry, ocean surface meteorology fluxes, and ocean pseudostress products.
    Focus is on interannual and interdecadal variability of the Earth's climate affected by tropical and mid-latitude oceans.


  • Australian Antarctic Data Centre
    A site full of data from an FTP site accessible through full metadata records. Data includes bathymetry, aerial photography, tidal information, flora and fauna, cosmic ray events, and weather information.


  • Puget Sound LIDAR Consortium
    Free data for Puget Sound developed by Federal, State and local agencies. An index map shows all the regions for which there is LIDAR data.


  • Marine Geology and Geophysics
    A site developed by the National Geophysical Data Center focusing on extensive databases for coastal and open areas.  Key areas include bathymetry and relief and marine sediment and rocks.  There is also a section on the Great Lakes. Worldwide in scope.


  • Office of Coast Survey
    This website offers several products and services for GIS users such as a GIS web portal and shoreline data.


  • National Ocean Service
    NOAA's data data websites listed with descriptions including links to various NOS websites that offer more information and provide downloadable data. This site also has a direct link to the NOS Data Explorer serving as a portal for NOS spatial data.


  • Ocean Data Portal
    A high-level directory of ocean data and information related Web sites. You can search by using the directory or through a search engine. Worldwide in scope.


  • Coastal and Marine Geoscience Data System
    This USGS program is designed to describe the geology of coastal and marine systems. The site includes the Map Server, links to seafloor mapping surveys, links to other sites and resources, and GLORIA data. Coverage of the United States.


  • Digital Coast
    This web site has a goal to bring benthic habitat mapping information and spatial data to the coastal management community. The site also has downloadable benthic habitat GIS data for much of the coastal US.


Projects        Back to top

  • United Nations Atlas of the Oceans
    An Internet portal providing information relevant to the sustainable development of the oceans. There are maps and online databases on the site. The site is still in development and so some links are sparse or not yet completed. Worldwide in scope.


  • Pacific Coast Marine Habitat Program
    This site provides links to documents, interactive maps, GIS data and other information relating to the West Coast marine habitat. Much of the data at this website were developed and compiled in support of the Pacific Coast Groundfish Essential Fish Habitat Environmental Impact Statement (EFH EIS).


  • Northeast Regional Cod Tagging Program
    One of the many aims for this program is to involve the public by making the recaptured tagged cod data accessible through an online GIS mapping interface.


California Data        Back to top

  • California Department of Fish and Game
    The DFG Information Technology Branch includes four separate GIS units dealing with soils, the Central Valley Bay delta, the marine region, and wildlife fisheries. The marine region includes California coastline shapefiles and a link to their FTP data server.


  • MBARI: Monterey Bay Research Institute
    • Monterey Bay Multibeam Survey (2000)
      A compilation of data and imagery of the Monterey Bay and the adjacent seafloor, including coastline, imagery, and bathymetry. (Held at Hopkins and Branner).
    • GIS data of the Monterey Bay (1998)
      Data and imagery of the Monterey Bay. (Held at Hopkins and Branner)
    • Data is also available at the MBARI site for download at
  • Seafloor Mapping Lab at CSUMB
    Data at this site include remotely sensed images (multibeam, side scan sonar), derived data (bathymetric contours, grid analyses, etc.), habitat analyses, and additional data such as survey footprints and coastline.


  • Continental Shelf GIS for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary
    Open-file Report 01-179 has been released on the Web with access to the GIS layers and data including basemap data, bathymetry and topography, shaded relief TIFF images, navigation track lines, and sidescan sonar imaging.


Books and Other Resources        Back to top

  • Coastal GIS Bibliography (Web resource)
    A searchable bibliography updated every two years by the NOAA Coastal Services Center. The bibliography is a international compilation of GIS applications in coastal management and includes such topics as geology, coastal processes and disaster management.


  • 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.


  • An introduction to using GIS in marine biology (2013) (Book held at Hopkins and Branner)
    There are also 5 supplementary workbooks available for this title.


  • 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 to 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.