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Arc Marine
Project Information / Milestones

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Original ArcGIS Marine Data Model Working Group, Oct 2001
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The Process (817K gif image)

Oct 4-5 2001 - Initial working group meeting in Redlands, CA

Nov 2001 - Draft conceptual framework document completed

early 2002 - Conceptual framework circulated and critiqued

Jun 7-8 2002 - Core and review team workshop #2 to refine model, Redlands

Jul 9 2002 - ESRI User Conference, Model introduced at Marine SIG meeting

Jul 2002 - Publish draft model

Jul-Nov 2002 - Project work to further refine model

Nov 1 2002 - Web conference to discuss major updates, release of test data

early 2003 - Review period for updated model

May 16-18 2003 - Workshop #3 to refine and finalize model, Redlands

Jul 9 2003 - ESRI User Conference, Marine Data Model Technical Workshop

Ongoing - Case study development, moving model to beta

Aug 2004 - ESRI User Conference, Marine Data Model Technical Workshop and Case Study Paper Session

Feb 2005 - Book contract with ESRI Press secured

Jul 2005 - ESRI User Conference, Arc Marine Technical Workshop

Aug 2005 - Lead authors' meeting, ESRI Press, Redlands

Jun 30 2006 - Deadline for manuscript submission to ESRI Press

June 2007 - Publish final data model as book from ESRI Press

Over the past several years ESRI, with a significant amount of user community input, has been engaged in the exercise of building "industry-specific" data models for ArcGIS. There are a number of efforts currently underway in most of the industries and scientific disciplines that ESRI serves (e.g., transportion, land parcels, and energy utilities; forestry, surface hydrology, and conservation/biodiversity). The marine community joined the fray in 2001! By "marine community" we mean people who apply GIS to the coasts, estuaries, marginal seas, and/or the deep ocean: academic, government or military oceanographers, coastal resource managers and consultants, marine technologists, nautical archaeologists, marine conservationists, marine and coastal geographers, fisheries managers and scientists, ocean explorers/mariners, etc.

The ArcGIS Marine Data Model represents a new approach to spatial modeling via improved integration of many important features of the ocean realm, both natural and manmade. The goal is to provide more accurate representations of location and spatial extent, along with a means for conducting more complex spatial analyses of marine and coastal data by capturing the behavior of real-world objects in a geodatabase. The model also considers how marine and coastal data might be more effectively integrated in 3-D space and time. Although currently limited to 2.5-D, the model includes "placeholders" meant to represent the fluidity of ocean data and processes.

For users, an ArcGIS data model provides a basic template for implementing GIS projects (i.e., inputting, formatting, geoprocessing, and sharing data, creating maps, performing analyses, etc.); for developers, it provides a basic framework for writing program code and maintaining applications. A key advantage of the data model is that it should help users to take fuller advantage of the most advanced manipulation and analysis capabilities of ArcGIS, particularly its support of more complex rules that can be built into its geodatabases, and of objects with not only attributes, but database rules (rudimentary behavior). ArcGIS data models also support existing data standards, so as to help simplify the integration of data at various jurisdictional levels (i.e., local, state/provincial, national, global).

Specific goals of the model include:

  • production of a common structure, a "geodatabase template", for assembling, managing, and publishing marine data in ArcGIS. For example:
    • because UML code is easily converted to an ArcGIS geodatabase, users can immediately begin populating the geodatabase rather than having to design it from scratch.
    • users can produce, share, and exchange data in similar formats
    • unified approaches encourage development teams to extend and improve ArcGIS software.
  • extending the power of marine GIS analyses by providing a framework for incorporating behaviors in data, and dealing more effectively with scale dependencies.
  • providing a mechanism for the implementation of data content standards, such as the FGDC's Hydrography Data Content Standard for Inland and Coastal Waterways, critical for the Coastal National Spatial Data Infrastructure.
  • and perhaps in the final analysis, helping many users to really learn and understand the ArcGIS geodatabase! For instance, in the core ArcGIS data model, arc-node topology can be used in conjunction with other new and powerful data structures. Routes and regions are relegated to feature classes. And relationships between tables can be preserved, maintained, and easily managed.

The sidebar to the left shows a summary of the steps along the way in the process of building the Arc Marine data model, including completion milestones to date.


Last update: October 26, 2011
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