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Marine Data Literacy

Proudly published in the United States of America for environmental scientists around the world.  Providing instruction for managing, converting, analyzing and displaying oceanographic station data, marine meteorological data, GIS-compatible marine and coastal data or model simulations, and mapped remote sensing imagery



1. Data Basics
2. Marine GIS
3. Principal Archives
4. Ocean Data View
5. Gridded Data
6. Motion Vectors
7. Bathy/Topo Data
8. Access & Services
9. Operational/Synoptic
MDL Chronology
MDL Users
History & Images
IODE Award

Home > 2. Marine GIS

2. Marine GIS Operations and Tools

Click HERE to send the URL of this exercise group, in your own email message

Software:  The MDL Geographic Information System (GIS) exercises are based on the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) program Saga.  You could use just about any GIS program, because they have many common concepts and features.  I like Saga because it has so many easily accessible features, and it has a very dedicated working group keeping it fixed and updated.

General:  This series of exercises includes all the basic tools for making maps of marine and coastal areas, using existing datafiles (vector or grid) or new ones made by you.  It begins with the assumption that an Area of Interest (AOI) is already known.  If you are not certain of your exact AOI, then begin these exercises with a very large area, say 3 times as wide (in longitude) and 3 times as tall (in latitude) as your first general guess for the AOI.  After a bit of experience, you'll decide on a final (smaller) AOI.  If you are working in a group project, then carefully make a joint decision.

Related Exercises:

Exercises in this Group:

Basic Mapping, Adding Shapes to Maps, Managing Shapes, Adding Grids/Rasters to Maps, Managing Grids/Rasters

Sometime during 2015 an amazing upgrade appeared at Ocean Color Web (OCW):  the data delivery format has changed from HDF to NetCDF.  This makes  exercises 2.21, 2.22 and 2.36 completely out of date, among others, and the necessary updates have been made within this Group.  If you obtain data from OCW, then you can use any of the direct, easy methods for NetCDF import into Saga, Integrated Data Viewer, ncBrowse or Panoply.

Basic Mapping

Adding Shapes to Maps

Managing Shapes

Adding Grids/Rasters to Maps

Managing Grids/Rasters - All have been moved to 5. Gridding Marine Data & Handling Grid Products

  • Using Grid Statistics and Calculations for Ecological Assessments in Saga

  • Converting Between 0-to-360 Degree Grids and -180-to-180 Degree Grids in Saga

  • Managing NetCDF, HDF4/5 and GRIB Rasters with Principal Display Programs

  • Reprojecting Grid Data in Saga:  WGS84 to UTM


The exercises, notes and graphics in this website are copyrighted, and may not be copied or abstracted in any way, without my explicit permission (in writing).  Making one copy for your personal use is allowed.   Please report any copyright infringement to me. Murray Brown m.brown.nsb <at>

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