I guess my question is pretty clear and yet broad, but what I was kind of hoping for is some insight on how GIS would be helpful in managing the ports or coastal areas. I can imagine it could serve monitoring the environnement surrounding the port, it could for example use satellite imagery for exploring the bathymetry of the coasts, etc.

So, how does GIS and marine geographical information rhyme ?

P.S : would be great if every poster used her/his answer for one application.

  • This question seems too broad to me so I recommend reviewing these pages and/or these to try and refine your question(s) about GIS and marine. – PolyGeo Jul 1 '13 at 23:41
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    +1 Good question. My two cents--this question should remain open. – Aaron Jul 2 '13 at 2:10
  • @PolyGeo : thanks for the links ! But I think a broad question has much more a chance to be contributive, it opens up for complementary information. I know it's not exact Q&A format, but from time to time, stack-exchange could enjoy that type of threads. – Akheloes Jul 2 '13 at 6:56
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    Since there is clearly no right answer to this one I've converted it to a wiki – Ian Turton Jul 2 '13 at 9:24

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The US Navy used GIS in a study Assessing the Impact of Future Sea Level Rise on its facilities.


There is so many applications. If there is a spatial question, then GIS can help. My college COGS (College of Geospatial Science) has a full program in Marine Geimatics. The key area they focus on is marine survey. You can do marine hydrology, route planning, flood planning, development, disaster management, nautical mapping, etc. The sky really is the limit. This is just a few options. I have been involved with marine and GIS for security and monitoring purposes.

  • Security, how so ? – Akheloes Jul 2 '13 at 7:06
  • We did security a few was. We integrated the port as a 3D model (all objects like buildindings and piers we in the GIS) and we linked everything with CCTV cameras and had tracking analysis ties to RSS feeds with the ship transportation into and out of the port – Ryan Garnett Jul 2 '13 at 14:20
  • For security, SwRI has developed DF systems. GIS can use DF antennae arrays to track suspected drug smugglers, pirates, etc. – Kirk Kuykendall Jul 2 '13 at 16:44

Using real time tracking and new technology like geo fences there could be levels of notification, alert, and unauthorized access to predefined areas.
I have heard rumor also of remote navigation (inside very confined areas) which high resolution GIS makes possible.
Not to mention "inside plant" type facilities management, for planning controlling and tracking material and product movement within the ship yard.
Also utilizing the same systems for BIM (building information modeling) such as tracking maintenance schedules, construction projects, and repair/outages.

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