ArcWatch: GIS News, Views, and Insights

October 2012

Visualizing Bathymetric Data Using the Esri Ocean Basemap

By Jack Hunt
Esri Maritime Team

The excitement surrounding the exploration of Mars by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) rover Curiosity exemplifies our inquisitive human nature. However, some of the greatest mysteries lie closer to home in the world's vast oceans.

The new Ocean Basemap, rich in detail, helps marine GIS professionals in their work and research. The basemap receives bathymetric data from organizations such as the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NGDC's data contributions have turned the Ocean Basemap into a comprehensive and informative geospatial reference tool. Read the article.

Esri hosts the Ocean Basemap in ArcGIS Online. Read this article to delve more deeply into what the basemap provides and learn how to get started using it as a cartographic reference or a foundation to build your own maps.

read the article
The Ocean Basemap is displayed in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Bathymetry Data Viewer, with multibeam bathymetry surveys applied.

read the article

Tip of the Month

Clip the Data Frame to Make Your Map Polished and Professional

Make the most of the real estate on your page! Use clipped data frames to show maps in shapes that you create to fit the available space. Read this 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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