ArcWatch: GIS News, Views, and Insights

August 2012

Designing the Oceans' Future

By Will McClintock and Evan Paul
Marine Science Institute, McClintock Laboratory, University of California, Santa Barbara

Geospatial technology is now being used to analyze data and weigh various options on how to best manage ocean resources. Quick feedback on designs using geospatial technology is called geodesign, and it's used in many diverse fields, including marine planning.

SeaSketch, a new online application developed at the Marine Science Institute and supported by Esri, will give marine spatial planners and ocean resources managers the tools to make decisions related to fisheries, energy development, shipping lanes, and protected marine areas.

SeaSketch was developed using Esri's ArcGIS, including ArcGIS Online, which is a cloud-based collaborative content system for maps, applications, data, and other geospatial information. Via ArcGIS Online, planners can view an enormous amount of geospatial data that they might need for their projects.

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SeaSketch can be used to draw new shipping lane routes so vessels can avoid the common migratory paths of whales.

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Tip of the Month

Making Snapping More Visual on Imagery

Imagery is now often added as a background layer and used to update map features. This process can sometimes be challenging because SnapTips in ArcMap, the text descriptions that interactively appear to indicate current snapping settings, are often hard to read against the background imagery. Read this tip to learn how to make SnapTips displayed over imagery more legible. Read the tip.

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ArcWatch is published monthly by Esri and contains GIS news, practical advice, and updates about the company's software and events. To submit article ideas, e-mail editor Carla Wheeler at

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