Farallon Geographics Helps Marine Map Build a GIS-based Web 2.0 Mapping Application to Identify Marine Protected Areas

February 12, 2009 -- Farallon Geographics ( www.fargeo.com), working with the Marine Science Institute at UC Santa Barbara, The Nature Conservancy, and Ecotrust, has developed “MarineMap”, a Web 2.0 mapping and decision support system to identify marine protected areas.

MarineMap combines an extensive catalog of GIS data, sophisticated spatial analysis, and an intuitive user interface to enable members of the public to participate in the selection of marine environments that should be designated for conservation, recreational, and commercial uses. MarineMap allows participants to identify and design marine protected areas (MPAs) interactively, and to share proposed MPA areas among stakeholders.

Farallon is helping to develop the MarineMap application to achieve several goals:

  • Allow stakeholders in the MLPA Initiative to draw the boundaries and indicate the allowable uses of proposed Maps on a map of the Southern California coast.

  • Automatically check that stakeholder-defined MPAs meet spatial requirements and scientific criteria defined by the California Department of Fish and Game. 

  • Allow MarineMap users to share and collaborate on their proposed protection areas.

  • Provide robust geospatial data creation tools that do not require GIS training.

  • Support mapping professionals and scientists by providing direct access to MPA data using powerful GIS tools to support offline and ad-hoc analyses.
“Because such a diverse range of organizations and individuals have a stake in marine habitat protection, it is critical that MarineMap be accessible to individuals without technical GIS training. Whether a stakeholder is a fisherman, a scientist, or environmental advocate, each needs to be able to draw on a map the location of marine resources to be preserved,” said Will McClintock, Marine Map Director at the UCSB Marine Science Institute.

“An absolutely critical component to this project is the ability for users to share their proposed marine protected areas and analyses with other stakeholders. Stakeholders can then collaborate and negotiate to come up with the best scenarios,” said Matt Merrifield, GIS Manager for The Nature Conservancy.

“We have combined GIS data, automated spatial analyses, and Rich Internet Application technology to support Southern Californian’s efforts to preserve critical ecosystems while supporting sustainable fisheries.” notes Dennis Wuthrich, CEO of Farallon Geographics. “MarineMap allows residents to define scientifically defensible Marine Protection Areas in a collaborative manner.”

MarineMap was deployed in January 2009, and is currently supporting the MPA designation efforts for the Southern California Regional Stakeholders Group. Interested parties can learn more about MarineMap in several ways:
About Farallon Geographics
Farallon Geographics ( www.fargeo.com), based in San Francisco, is a leader in the planning, implementation, and integration of GIS systems and software to support mission critical business functions. As systems integrators focused on geographical data, Farallon provides unique and unbiased strategic and technical implementation services for enterprise-scale GIS.

About Marine Map
MarineMap is designed to support California’s Marine Life Protection Act Initiative (MLPA Initiative), with a primary goal of supporting the citizen members of Regional Stakeholder Groups and the Initiative’s Science Advisory Team.

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