Marine conservation with GeoServer

I received a note recently from a GeoServer blog reader who wanted to show off another project using GeoServer, which I am happy to present here.

The Marine Science Institute at UC Santa Barbara and Farallon Geographics have built a public, online mapping application enabling scientists and community members to help select marine environments that they feel should be designated for conservation, recreational, and/or commercial uses. It’s called the MarineMap Decision Support Tool.

You need to have a login to make edits, but anyone can view the layers that are already there. And there’s a good amount of info too, from water quality to estuaries to locations of popular surfing sites. These layers can be exported to Google Earth as well. The designers have also helpfully created a screencast showing how to use their application.

The site is based on GeoServer and OpenLayers. But what intrigued me was the pleasing desktop-styled application. It reminded me of GeoExt, and for good reason, since GeoExt is a framework for constructing web mapping applications combining the user interface components of Ext with OpenLayers. And sure enough, it turns out that Ext was used in this application.

I don’t know about you, but I think the folks at the MSI should join up with the GeoExt project; I’m sure everyone could learn a lot.


  1. Sagar
    Posted April 9, 2009 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Very nice application. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Posted April 9, 2009 at 1:44 pm | Permalink


    Thanks for the kind words! I just wanted to emphasize that MarineMap is a collaboration between the Marine Science Institute at UCSB, Farallon Geographics, Ecotrust and The Nature Conservancy.

    Will McClintock
    MarineMap Director

  3. Posted April 10, 2009 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Yeah thanks folks,

    We use the Geoserver ArcSDE connector to tap into a central SDE database. Works great.

    WFS is used to provide the client-side infoquery functionality (bounding box). Outputting the result as JSON makes it relatively easy to put the query result into an Ext tree widget.

    We do make use of a couple MapFish client widgets including the main toolbar. Certainly GeoExt is up and coming as well. These projects are doing great work.

    Applications Developer

  4. Posted August 19, 2009 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Dear all

    We used a very similar apprach at the European Community.

    All the data are stored in Postgres and served through Geoserver.

    Openlayers, Mapfish,ExtJs and GeoExt are used for the UI.

    We also fetch information from a SOAP webservice by using PHP (nuSoap).

    Please have a look.


  5. Posted November 24, 2009 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Great application. MarineMap assists South Coast Regional Stakeholder Group (SCRSG) members in the design of MPAs by allowing them to view oceanographic, biological, geological, chemical and human dimensions of the ocean and coastal areas. MarineMap provides easy sharing of MPA ideas, and reports on how well individual MPAs and arrays of MPAs meet various guidelines set by the Master Plan Science Advisory Team (SAT) to help meet the goals of the MLPA.

Download GeoServer