Aerial view of coastal waterway, Bald Head Island, North Carolina

Newest Watershed or County Boundaries?

by Friday, August 15, 2014 @ .

Life and geophysical scientists like me know that natural systems rarely follow geopolitical boundaries, such as states and counties. Knowing how many square miles of wetlands or forest are present and have been lost in a particular county, for example, does not help us readily manage for the sustainability of the entire, connected wetland or forest system. And how we manage a connected system can have significant impacts on the species that utilize it, as well as the provision of ecosystem services that humans benefit from. So, how we choose to aggregate land cover information is an important


The volcanic "log" city of Nan Madol. Photographer: Lieutenant Commander Matthew Wingate, NOAA Corps

It’s Not Me, It’s You; Breaking up with Traditional Gray Infrastructure

by Monday, August 4, 2014 @

Does this sound familiar? Them (let’s call s/he Gray): “I will always be there for you, I promise.” You: “I just don’t completely trust you anymore, this isn’t working out.” Gray: “But together, we can withstand anything!” You: “Yes, I know you defend me in most situations, but at what cost? I need something different.” Gray: “But who will take care of me when I’m

Elevation, General

Fall foliage gracing a wooded path. Taken by NOAA/OAR/Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab.

First Return Lidar in Digital Coast

by Wednesday, July 23, 2014 @

Someone sent me a question about a month ago asking how they could get a first-return lidar DEM out of the Digital Coast Data Access Viewer (DAV). I thought that should have been pretty obvious, but I'd make some screen shots and show them how to do it. It turned out that it wasn't as obvious as I'd thought and was perhaps worth a GeoZone post. In case you're wondering why you'd want only the firs

Economics, General

Fishing Pier near Wilmington, NC. Image from NOAA Photo Library

Speed Dating with the Coastal and Ocean Economies

by Monday, July 7, 2014 @

Hi, I’m the Coastal Economy Nice to meet you! I also go by total economy of coastal areas and I include all economic activities occurring in a coastal area. These activities include everything from marine transportation and commercial fishing to banking and home construction. Some of these things only occur along the coast, while other activities can occur anywhere in the nation. I have b



The History Behind Flooding in Charleston, South Carolina

by Tuesday, June 24, 2014 @

For many the idea of sea level rise and its associated impacts are thought of as future events. But, here in Charleston it’s already a part of life. Coastal flooding is a major issue that the city faces. All it takes is just the right tide, or even worse, an extreme high tide paired with a torrential downpour during rush hour, and Charleston’s streets become fingers of the Atlantic Ocean that

Elevation, General


Taking Stock of All That Lidar

by Wednesday, June 11, 2014 @

Lidar has been collected for more than 15 years now along the coast. The earliest data sets the NOAA Coastal Services Center has out there are from 1996 (so yeah, 18 years) and the same areas continue to be collected. There are, of course, reasons for this; the primary ones being coastal storms, beach/dune change, and sediment transport. And for these dynamic processes there are few techniques tha


Image of Newport Oregon

Geospatial Pioneer – In Memory of Doug Nebert (1962-2014)

by Wednesday, June 4, 2014 @

 The geospatial community recently lost a distinguished colleague. Doug Nebert was an incredible force behind many of the things we take for granted in modern day geospatial information systems.  Whether you knew Doug or not, his work affected you. We here at NOAA owe so much to his work with standards and distributed metadata catalogs. He played an important role in the development of the Nati

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