Science is the basis for climate action planning. Esri is committed to providing resources to help create a sustainable future.

The rapid pace of economic, ecological, and social change has dramatically influenced the way ocean and coastal environments around the world are mapped and managed. Our ability to measure change in the oceans (open, nearshore, or coast) is increasing, not only because of improved measuring devices and scientific techniques, but also because new GIS technology provides a better understanding of this dynamic environment. From collection and display of data to complex simulation, modeling, and the development of new research methods and concepts, we continue to evolve GIS to better empower ocean scientists, resource managers, and conservationists.

Esri Ocean Science Capabilities

Originally recorded as part of a 2020 meeting with the National Geographic's Pristine Seas program, these nine videos provide an excellent showcase of Esri's ArcGIS software for ocean science, ocean conservation, and science communication.

Additionally, access the 2020 Esri Ocean, Weather, and Climate GIS Forum demos for the latest ocean, weather, and climate information.

A 3D graphic of billowing white and blue shapes overlayed with yellow graph-like lines and a 3D square map enclosed in a translucent circle

New Esri Oceans Hub

Esri's new hub of ocean resources includes apps for ocean analytics, informative blog posts, story maps, and Learn Lessons, plus information about the annual Esri Ocean, Weather, and Climate Forum for collaborating across ocean subdisciplines.

Ecological Marine Units — A 3D analytic basemap of the ocean

Ecological marine units (EMU) are 3D renderings of observations about ocean characteristics. A foundation for a standardized and practical global ecosystems classification and map for the ocean, EMU’s are being used in over 15 projects worldwide. The data is free and open within ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World.

A global 3D basemap of the ocean

EMU’s greatly benefit ocean research, design of marine protected areas (MPA’s), and classroom instruction.

Free new EMU learning module

Learn how to work with EMUs as 3D voxel layers and analytical fence diagrams.

One Ocean

See how to load global EMU data as points, and render them in the One Ocean Spilhaus projected coordinate system.

Explore the Maldives

See an Indian Ocean subset of the EMU’s in a custom web app using the Javascript API.

Introducing Ecological Coastal Units

Explore a new resource for coastal managers and researchers that allows for standardized characterizations and comparisons of coastal settings and processes. Every one kilometer stretch of coastline on Earth can be queried for 11 variables characterizing the waterside, landside, and coastline properties. This resource is brought to you by Esri, the USGS, and a team of international experts.

A section of small islands overlaid with a circular 2D map of the islands

An ocean of story maps

With the storytelling tools in ArcGIS, the ocean community is telling powerful stories about ocean science, conservation, exploration, and fieldwork. Find motivation for your story with the story maps in this unique collection of outstanding science communication examples that inform, educate, and inspire scientists, conservationists, decision-makers, and the public.

Advanced ocean basemaps

The Ocean Basemap includes a vector tile layer for bathymetry, surface and subsurface feature names, and derived depths, designed for use by ocean GIS specialists or as a reference map by anyone interested in ocean data. New content is available across all styles of vector tile layers, enabling customization of both layer content and display appearance.

Ocean content in Living Atlas

ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World is the foremost collection of geographic information from around the globe. Featuring a fantastic array of ocean content, you will find authoritative, carefully curated maps, apps, and data layers to support a wide range of ocean science or maritime activities. 

Explore ocean content

Benthic Terrain Modeler

The Benthic Terrain Modeler is a Python-3-based set of geoprocessing tools to analyze benthic terrain for the purposes of classifying surficial seafloor characteristics. It now implements block-based processing for large raster calculations using the NumPy and SciPy scientific libraries.

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Read a peer-reviewed paper

Our partners in ocean science

  • AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles

  • Applied Ocean Sciences

  • Aquarium of the Pacific

  • Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW)

  • Coastal GeoTools Conference Series

  • Conservation International Center for Oceans

  • Consortium for Ocean Leadership

  • Earth Analytic

  • Fugro

  • GEBCO Technical Sub-Committee on Ocean Mapping

  • GEO Blue Planet


  • Geodynamics

  • Global Earth Challenge

  • Gulf of Mexico Alliance

  • Hawkeye 360


  • Marine Conservation Institute

  • Marine Conservation Institute, Atlas of Marine Protection

  • The Maritime Alliance

  • Mission Blue Hope Spots

  • NOAA

  • NSF-funded Research Coordination Network (RCN) on Ocean Observations

  • Ocean Discovery XPRIZE

  • Ocean Exploration Trust

  • Ocean Health Index

  • Oceaneering

  • Oregon State University Socio-Environmental Analysis (SEA) Lab

  • Partnership Observation of the Global Ocean (POGO)

  • Protected Seas

  • Quality Positioning Services, Inc (QPS)

  • Saildrone

  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography

  • Seabed 2030

  • Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP)

  • Spire

  • TCarta


  • UNH Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping Joint Hydrographic Center

  • Xylem

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