Skip to Content

Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure

Fuel economic prosperity

An aerial view of a portion of the earth with rows of small purple dots mapping it, overlapped with a small square photo of a lighthouse

Hydrographic offices are contributing authoritative hydrospatial geographic information to a Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure (MSDI), which better supports national economic development and a blue economy. A nation's blue economy covers diverse industries and sectors such as communications, marine surveys, hydrography, marine renewables, security, energy, aquaculture, fishing, and offshore mining.

Supporting Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure


Access and understand hydrospatial information

Coastal and shoreline change analysis

Coastal and shoreline areas are rapidly changing and provide unique challenges for mapping. Due to the dynamic environment, authoritative and timely information is essential to making informed decisions and ensuring safety of life and property. National mapping and geospatial authorities need trusted information to identify critical impacts from natural and human-made changes that affect local communities. To support coastal and shoreline change analysis, a geospatial infrastructure is required to sense, understand, and respond intelligently. The use of GIS provides the ability to plan and mitigate organized responses that support the best use of local and national resources.

A monitor displaying a coastal map marked in purple

National scalability and real-time management

National geographies are large, varied, and hard to chart. Natural resources, population dynamics, and rising sea levels shape these areas as they face economic and environmental adaptations to climate change. To deal with mapping these changes, ArcGIS enables geospatial organizations to scale operations using the cloud (public, on-premises, and hybrid) for production, real-time operations, planning, management, and effective mitigation/response efforts. 

A blue graphic of interconnected 3D cloud and server designs

Transformation to support the blue economy

Hydrographic and oceanographic organizations are evolving from their traditional roles, being asked to go beyond hydrographic data collection and production. Traditionally, they are seen as custodians and producers of marine geospatial information. These hydrospatial offices are modernizing their efforts through an MSDI, moving beyond production and enabling information that supports a blue economy. These efforts include provision of information where elevation doesn't stop at the shoreline, management of national resources through the offices' marine cadastre and exclusive economic zones (EEZ), and production of navigational and scientific products. 

A shipping port overlayed with location icons, markers, and text

Challenges to business continuity

Minimizing the impacts of disasters on the maritime ecosystem can only be possible by utilizing continuous geospatial data feeds, performing impactful analysis, enabling artificial intelligence, and disseminating data and knowledge in effective ways. Disruptions to the maritime industry can have significant consequences for local and global economies. These consequences affect the trade of goods, services, and commodities. Understanding the impacts of disasters on the maritime supply lines is required to increase the resilience of maritime economies in order to hasten disaster recovery. Geographic accuracy is essential in detecting and responding to any natural or human-made disaster. GIS should be used to support many national recovery efforts at all levels of government:

  • Assess risks
  • Evaluate threats
  • Track and maintain situational awareness
  • Efficiently allocate resources
  • Provide community awareness
  • Minimize disruptions 
A world map marked with lines and many small yellow dots


Singapore builds a massive maritime spatial atlas

A massive spatial atlas of Singapore’s coastline is now a crucial tool for officials and scientists to understand the impacts of climate change.

Read the story

Products and solutions for MSDI


National maritime and hydrography strategies


Contact us to get started

Connect with the Esri national maritime team