Asian Surveying & Mapping
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June 16th, 2010
Asian Marine Spatial Data Infrastructures

In the paper ‘A GIS Approach to Mapping Oil Spills in the Marine Environment’ authors Andrei Yu. Ivanov and Victoria V. Zatyagalova of the Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia indicated that oil spill responses are likely to engage numerous kinds of spatial data. As they indicate, “compiled from data of severalsources including nautical maps, geodatabases, groundtruth and remote sensing data, GIS allows retrieval of key information, i.e. predict spill locations, reveal offshore/onshore sources, estimate intensity of oil pollution. SAR and GIS technologies can significantly improve identification or even classification of oil spill sallowing making the final product – oil spill distribution maps. This approach has been applied to oil spill mapping in the Sea of Okhotsk, Black Sea, and Gulf of Thailand.” They conclude that a combination including is an deal solution to understand spatial/temporal distribution of oil spills in the marine environment and is considered as a core of oil spill monitoring system.”

The Coral Reef Alliance indicates that the South China Sea alone holds 30% of the world’s coral reefs. But tourism and food supply from the ocean are also tightly connected to many southeast Asian countries. Ocean impacts can trigger wide scale impacts throughout the region once oil or other environmental impacts arise.

A tipping point has occurred as a result of the Gulf of Mexico event. It should be cause for concern to those nations near oil production facilities, particularly offshore facilities. This does not mean that these facilities will need to shut down, instead, it implies that greater measures and plans need to begin now and that appropriate resources for monitoring and measuring and these operations needs to begin more frequently.

it would appear that there is opportunity here and the possibility for not only creating these mitigation measures and procedures, but also the development of spatial data infrastructures (SDI) that inter-connect resource plans to environmental plans, economic and human responses. Clearly, strategies are needed for the development of these SDI and pieces for their development already exist elsewhere and only need to be re-purposed for use.