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SeaSketch, the next generation of UCSB's MarineMap program, will aid marine spatial planning
Date:5/7/2012

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) Since 2009, a free Web-based marine mapping and spatial planning program created by UC Santa Barbara scientists has proved to be an essential tool for fishermen and other stakeholders along the California coastline. Now, the next-generation tool is going global.

Thanks to a $500,000 gift by Jack Dangermond, the president and founder of Esri, the world's largest geographic information systems (GIS) software company, Will McClintock and his team of researchers at UCSB's Marine Science Institute are finalizing SeaSketch the next generation of MarineMap. SeaSketch will allow people all over the world, even those who are not experts in GIS applications, to create plans designed to protect marine life based on scientific values and governmental policies.

"This application is meant to invite anybody regardless of their technical ability to the table to draw plans that are automatically evaluated based on objective science," said McClintock, a project scientist at MSI. "Objective science and its criteria tell you right after you've drawn the plan how well it meets science and policy guidelines, and what the economic impact will be to fisheries."

The gift from Esri came about as a result of Dangermond's visit to UCSB in 2011 to meet with Michael Goodchild, the Jack and Laura Dangermond Professor of Geography. When Goodchild learned that Dangermond wanted his company to tackle an oceans initiative, he introduced Dangermond to McClintock.

"When Jack says he wants to take on oceans as a new initiative, it's a big deal," said McClintock. "When my team showed him the application, he said, 'MarineMap embodies the concept of GeoDesign, something I've been talking about for years.' "

McClintock's MarineMap program provided the conceptual foundation for SeaSketch, a more ambitious application. "We wanted to do this in such a way that it results in conservation benefits in places like the Galapagos, or New Z
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Contact: George Foulsham
george.foulsham@ia.ucsb.edu
805-893-3071
University of California - Santa Barbara
Source:Eurekalert  

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