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Scientists Unveil Massive Online Mapping Tool Revealing Undersea Marine Life

  • in short: World’s first Internet portal to provide one-stop access to surveys of marine habitats across Australia
  • what’s next? : Data analysts say the resource will help identify where research funding is best invested.

Have you ever thought about the marine life that roams the seafloor off the east coast of Tasmania?

Or what kind of plants live on the bottom of the Coral Sea?

The world’s first continent-wide internet portal, led by marine analysts at the Hobart Institute of Marine Antarctica (IMAS), has made it possible.

Seamap Australia is an online tool that provides a national collection of marine habitat data.

Seamap Technical Lead Emma Flukes said, “Hugely large data streams from national research aggregators across Australia are brought together and delivered through a single mapping portal that allows us to manipulate the data in a highly visual way. It will be.”

“For example, if you’re interested in a video of fish eating a bed on the ocean floor, click on a dot on the map of Australia and you’ll see a video clip of a fish eating a food bag,” she said.

This portal helps identify different habitats that are susceptible to marine pests.()

This tool allows you to identify different habitats susceptible to marine pests and pinpoint rare or important ecological hotspots.

It also helps assess environmental impacts before approving developments such as oil and gas.

“If you have a proposal to develop a particular area of ​​the seafloor, you have to know quite a lot about that area. [like whether] There are special ecosystems on the ocean floor,” she said.

“Unless you have a comprehensive inventory of what is going on there, it is very likely that decisions will be made to allow or disallow an activity simply because there is not enough data available. It is high.”

Dr Flukes said Seamap is the first tool of its kind to map and integrate all available marine habitat data across the country.

“We looked at different portals and software tools to draw inspiration for different features. [but] We couldn’t find anything that worked at that scale,” Flukes said.

This online resource also helps identify areas ripe for future scientific exploration.

The data collected ensures that the information for a particular region is up to date.()

“It’s quite surprising that we don’t have a national scale of different kinds of research streams in one place,” she says.

“As a result, researchers often plan to explore areas they have already explored or do not need to explore.

Flukes said Seamap will bridge the gap between researchers and non-professional end users.()

“Instead of going to 100 different locations to discover data, you can go to one map. will plan a survey.

“Instead of going to 100 different locations to find data, we have access to one map.

”[It] This means administrators can understand where research funding is best invested in data collection and processing. ”

This tool helps marine managers understand what is in the waters they manage.()

“Bridging the Gap” for Everyday Users

She said SeaMap aims to make science and ocean research more accessible.

“What you can do is understand the value of a particular area and gather the information that is important to make it happen. [information] Accessible and up-to-date. ”

“This is really about bridging the gap between researchers and non-expert end-users.”

This portal is accessible to the general public as well as professionals.()


https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-05-23/public-access-to-imas-marine-mapping-tool-for-sea-floor/102377580 Scientists Unveil Massive Online Mapping Tool Revealing Undersea Marine Life

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