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The Esri Ocean GIS Forum brings together thought leaders from the ocean GIS community in an interactive environment that fosters exploration, collaboration, learning, and innovation.

This year's forum will focus on new, innovative GIS tools and forward-thinking solutions built to provide a deeper understanding of our oceans. When you join your colleagues and Esri subject matter experts at the Esri campus in Redlands, California, on October 31, you will have a front-row seat to shaping the future of ocean and maritime GIS design.

  • Share your ideas and successes with industry colleagues and help shape the future of GIS design through one-on-one collaboration.
  • Learn how GIS serves as a powerful tool for scientific understanding, by improving analyses, insights, efficiencies, communication, and maritime workflows in government and commercial communities.
  • Discover the ways in which multi-dimensional data and web apps can help you put cutting-edge scientific information to work in your organization at Technical Workshops.
  • Learn how to extract more value from your marine and coastal data when it is filtered, analyzed, and viewed on a smart map - producing better informed decisions.
  • Explore and test-drive ArcGIS 10.5 with free, expert-led training at the Hands-On Learning Lab.
  • Attend dynamic presentations from Esri staff, partners, and customers at the Plenary Session, Lightning Talks, and User Presentations.

Return to your campus, organization, or institution with a deeper understanding of how GIS technology serves as a powerful tool in the areas of ocean science research and analysis, ocean use planning, marine resilience management, conservation and restoration, and much more!

You can't afford to miss this unique opportunity to learn proven best practices firsthand from ocean and maritime industry thought leaders, grow your professional network, expand your GIS skill set, and implement new approaches to success in 2017 and beyond!

Don't wait to sign-up. The early-bird registration deadline is August 31, 2017.

Add you content to the new crowdsourcing storymap for Alaska's Best Places. If you have images and stories about Alaska add them here: 

In a prior blog post, I mentioned that for the 2015 Esri Press research monograph Ocean Solutions, Earth Solutions, we encouraged the chapter authors to prepare a story map as another way to communicate their work. The story map is a new Esri medium for sharing not only data, photos, videos, sounds, and maps, but for telling a specific and compelling story by way of that content. This is all done with sophisticated cartographic functionality that does not require advanced training in cartography or GIS. Therefore the beauty of Esri story maps is that, depending on the chosen complexity, they can be built in anywhere from a few minutes to a few days, using the free public accounts and data available within ArcGIS Online. Story maps are essentially applications built from web maps which in turn are built from web-accessible data (including OGC WMS, WFS). With the beauty and utility of underlays such as the Esri Ocean Basemap, as well as a small tsunami of ocean content percolating up through free public accounts on ArcGIS Online, and on premium subscription accounts, it’s no wonder that we are seeing an “ocean” of interesting story maps.

See the January 2015 webinar An Ocean of Story Maps.

A small catalog for your enjoyment is available at An Ocean of Story Maps | ArcGIS Blog

Proceedings and videos of the 2014 Esri Ocean GIS Forum are available at: and

In addition to the excellent papers, maps, apps, and lightning talks presented by over 100 users, the Forum featured:

  • the exciting announcement of the integration of ArcGIS with SciPy, a Python-based ecosystem of open-source software for mathematics, science, and engineering
  • the growing world of Ocean Content (Ocean and Arctic Ocean Basemap)
  • demos of the latest Esri offerings in multi-dimensional visualization and analysis
  • bring science into maritime operations, including Common Operating Picture templates for offshore energy, ports, and defense applications

The Forum also witnessed the start of the Ocean GIS GeoNet community. This is one great way that YOU can speak to us and to each other. Please feel free to join this community now. All you need is your existing Esri Global Account or you can easily create one (free of charge, no sharing to 3rd parties). Please check it out! We look forward to seeing you on GeoNet. Point your browser to and look to the upper right to join.

The 2013 Esri Ocean GIS Forum proceedings are also still available at And stay tuned for the imminent release of the peer-reviewed research monograph Ocean Solutions, Earth Solutions which is based on those 2013 proceedings and in final preparation by Esri Press. It will be out before the 2015 Esri User Conference.

Did you know that Esri offers a method for developers to create custom applications that can support the international standard of S-57, also known as ENCs. If you have ever been asked to create an application and one of the requirements was to render data offshore, then this might help you.


The HydrographicS57Layer is a Runtime class that allows you to visualize ENC data (aka. Electronic Nautical Charts or S-57 data) directly inside the app that you build. This could come in handy when your end user will be working offshore and needs basemap content that the ArcGIS Online Bamemaps cannot provide. When rendering the ENC data you'll benefit from our support of the S-52 symbology standard, meaning it will be similar to what you might see on the bridge of a ship when navigating about the sea.


If you're curious about the HydrographicS57Layer check out more information here on the page. If you are wondering, what is this ENC data I speak of, or where can I even find this kind of data? We have a couple of options for you. In the US, NOAA offers a large number of ENC datasets to download right from their website (for free). In addition, ArcGIS offers a solution that can create ENC data, called ArcGIS for Maritime: Charting. Feel free to check out some of my other posts to see how to create ENC data in ArcGIS.


Check out the quick snapshot I took this morning of a Runtime sample visualizing ENC data below.


Happy Developing!



In the last software release the Maritime Team worked really hard to extend the support of datasets to not only include rasters but also point datasets. Check out the last blog post on Bathymetry.