Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas: Digital Data Discovery and Access
Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 9:45 AM
The Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas is an online data discovery and access tool that allows users to browse a growing collection of ecosystem-related datasets visualized as map plates. Thematically, the Atlas includes updated long-term assessments of the physical, biological, environmental, economic and living marine resource characteristics that indicate baseline conditions of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystems. These data are crucial components of integrated ecosystem assessments and modeling and support restoration and monitoring efforts in the Gulf. A multi-agency executive steering committee including members from international, federal, state, and non-governmental organizations was established to guide Atlas development and to contribute data and expertise. The Atlas currently contains over 235 maps in 70 subject areas. Each map plate is accompanied by a descriptive summary authored by a subject matter expert and each data set is fully documented by metadata in Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)-compliant standards. Source data are available in native formats and as web mapping services (WMS). Datasets are also searchable through an accompanying Map Catalog and RSS feed. The Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas is an operational example of the philosophy of leveraging resources among agencies and activities involved in geospatial data as outlined in the US Department of Interior and FGDC "Geospatial Platform Modernization Roadmap v4 - March 2011”. We continue to update and add datasets through existing and new partnerships to ensure that the Atlas becomes a truly ecosystem-wide resource.