Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Massachusetts Enhances SDI Services for Ocean Management

Massachusetts waters are rich with natural resources and busy with human activity. This marine environment supports recreation and tourism, fishing and shellfishing, shipping and trade, and scientific research. The Commonwealth’s marine waters also harbor infrastructure that supports the well-being and standard of living of Massachusetts citizens, such as offshore liquefied natural gas facilities, fiber optic and electrical cables, and natural gas pipelines. In addition, new activities in the marine environment are emerging, including deepwater aquaculture and wave, tidal, and wind energy.

Given this array of activity and the need to protect and enhance the marine environment Massachusetts has developed a draft Ocean Management Plan that addresses a fundamental issue - the ocean is a public trust resource and the Commonwealth must effectively manage the protection and use of its waters on behalf of the public for the benefit of current and future generations.

To support the Ocean Management Plan about 85 layers are being added this week to web mapping services (WMS) from MassGIS. The layers include wind speed data, imagery, NOAA navigational charts, coastal land cover, sea floor topography and more. The WMS may be used in geospatial viewers such as Gaia and other SDI tools. With this addition MassGIS is charting its path forward with a standards-based information infrastructure of geospatial and environmental data - maintained locally, closest to the people that know it.

- Jeff


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