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The Arctic Ocean Basemap
Over the past few years, Esri’s Ocean Basemap team has noted the world’s scientific attention shifting north. The receding sea ice and increased vessel traffic within the Arctic Ocean is coming front and center in discussions within the marine and maritime communities. To support the communities, Esri’s Ocean Basemap team developed the Arctic Ocean Basemap.

The Arctic Ocean Basemap (left) uses a special projection that is optimized for study of this region covering the northern latitudes of the globe from 90 to 50 degrees north. This (and the companion imagery version) is designed to be used as a basemap for overlaying other data for the Arctic region, such as this example (right) featuring sea ice extent and oil exploration data on top of the polar basemap.
The Arctic Ocean Basemap uses a polar projection that is optimized for this part of the planet. The Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area projection centered over Alaska allows the Arctic Ocean Basemap to interface seamlessly for polar-centric applications. It currently features data from numerous oceanographic sources of authoritative bathymetric data from Esri’s close-knit maritime community. Like the Web Mercator version of the World Ocean Basemap, the Arctic Ocean Basemap consists of two map services. In this web map, the base and reference services are combined to create a map “sandwich.”


This post is excerpted from The ArcGIS Imagery Book: New View, New Vision. Imagery is suddenly a big deal, and those who are adept at finding it, analyzing it, and understanding what it actually means are going to be in demand in the years ahead. The purpose of this book is to help everyone from GIS professionals to app developers, and web designers to virtually anyone how to become smarter, more skillful, and more powerful appliers of image data. The book is available through and other booksellers, and is also available at for free.

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