Setting a New Course for the Arc Marine Data Model

On April 2, 2013, an informal working group of twenty-five (including four Esri staffers) participated in a 1.5-hour webinar to discuss the development of a new, improved version of the Arc Marine Data Model (also known as the “Marine Data Model”). This is an action item following on from the Esri Oceans Summit in November 2012, where great interest was shown in updating and thus improving the model.

The Arc Marine data model was first widely released and published in a research monograph by Esri Press in 2007. Despite the age of the model, its utility is still recognized and adoption of it appears to be ongoing, with several organizations seeking to standardize on it, particularly in Europe. Given the apparent demand for the model in the ocean community, Esri is going to fully support the model as a community-based information model/template. To this end, I have assigned my ocean GIS product engineer, Shaun Walbridge, to learn the structure of the old 2007 model and to bring the Unified Modeling Language (UML)code up to compliance as appropriate, so that it works with our latest Esri technologies (chief among them ArcGIS for Desktop 10.1, and implementation in a file geodatabase rather than just a personal geodatabase). We are initially looking at updating the UML, realizing at the same time that there are now a variety of standards efforts for communities, data formats, metadata, etc. We want to consider how to leverage existing or emerging standards efforts. One issue is going to be that the physical data structure need not be constrained by any one category. For example, it is now common for people to use netCDF as a container not only for gridded model data, but also for time series points and trajectories. And our software can do it either way.

The following topics were discussed during the webinar:

Arc Marine Webinar – Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013, 09:00 -10:30 US Pacific

Discussion Facilitator: Dawn Wright, Esri Chief Scientist,
Notetaker: Shaun Walbridge, Esri Ocean GIS Product Engineer,

Alexandra Carvalho – Cmar Consulting
Alfonso Herrera – Instituto Franklin, Spain
Beatriz Ramos – Instituto Franklin, Spain
Becky Allee – NOAA
Brian Andrews – USGS
Celso Ferreira – GMU
Dawn Wright – Esri
Dori Dick – OSU / Hatfield
Drew Stephens – Esri
Ei Fujioka – Duke
Ela Dramowicz – NSCC
Jason Roberts – Duke
Jaydeep Pattanaik – NIIT Tech
Juan Antonio Bermejo – Observatorio Ambiental Granadilla, Spain
Lisa Wedding – NOAA
Michael Blongewicz – Tele Atlas
Nadine Golden – USGS
Nuria Olvido – Instituto Español de Oceanografía, Spain
Pat Halpin – Duke
Pat Iampietro – CSUMB
Shaun Walbridge – Esri
Steve Kopp – Esri
Tim Whiteaker – U Texas
Tomas Follett – OSU / Hatfield
Yassine Lassoued – Coastal and Marine Research Centre, Ireland

The slides presented by Dawn, the detailed notes as recorded by Shaun, and a transcript of the chat session are available in this 20-Mb zip file.

Thanks to Steve Kopp, who contributed to this post.

About the author

Dawn Wright joined Esri as Chief Scientist in October 2011, after 17 years as a Professor of Geography and Oceanography at Oregon State University. As Esri Chief Scientist, she is responsible for strengthening the scientific foundation for Esri software and services, while representing Esri to the international scientific community. Dawn also remains on the faculty of Oregon State University. Over the past 30 years she has developed and participated in several initiatives around the world to map, analyze, and preserve ocean terrains and ecosystems, and was elected to both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, as well as the American Academy of Arts & Sciences for this work. Aside from GIS, Dawn is very much into road cycling, apricot green tea gummy bears, 18th-century pirates, her puppy Riley, and SpongeBob Squarepants.


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