The ESP Study Footprint Guidance is provided as part of the ESP Study Footprint Specifications. It describes the use of a controlled vocabulary, the Study Footprint Concept ontology, which is a formal naming system used in information science to help explain the relationship of one term to another. An ESP Study Footprint geographically references the area where the ESP study is applicable. Guidance is provided below on how to define the scope of the applicable area, the method of identifying the authoritative source for delineating the footprint area, and the convention for quality assurance of the study footprint depiction. These are captured as elements of the Study Footprint Metadata, Data Quality section, and are associated with information from other ESP data and information deliverables.
ESP Study Footprint Geographic Scope
In many cases, the scope of the applicable area is broad, referring to a recognized geographic area such as the BOEM Planning Area or a Large Marine Ecosystem to which the ESP study information applies. However, in most cases, the scope of the geographic reference can be more specific to the study activity, such as the survey area, or the model domain used in the ESP study. A scope that is even more specific cites the findings area, but this is appropriate only when the study activity culminates in the geographic delineation, such as the area of a resource distribution. The scope of the ESP Study Footprint will be recorded using the Study Footprint Concept.
ESP Study Footprinting Method
The ESP Study Footprinting Method describes how the geographic feature was identified or defined and provided as an ESP Study deliverable. In the case of recognized geographic areas, it may be possible to deliver the ESP Study Footprint by simply referring to the name of the area, such as Central Gulf of Mexico Planning Area. This is even preferable to receiving an ArcGIS feature for the geographic feature, since a GIS-ready boundary should be readily accessible from an authoritative source. For example, BOEM already has authoritative ArcGIS data for the case of the Central Gulf of Mexico Planning Area. However, for areas of more specific scope, including the survey area, model domain, or findings area, the entity conducting the ESP study may have the most authoritative geographic reference information for the study activity. Therefore, the study entity can create a more specific ArcGIS feature, and record the scope to which this refers in the study footprint metadata, using the Study Footprint Concept.
ESP Study Footprint Quality Assurance
The study team has a great deal of discretion in how to depict the study’s geographic reference as a study footprint. However, it should be easy for those closest to the research to identify an appropriate geographic reference, as it may be defined early in the study execution as a part of study planning activities, and it is integral at the end of the study to help communicate the study findings. ESP Study Footprint Quality Assurance ensures that the study footprint is true to the dialog that the study team engaged in during the study execution. BOEM CORs are technical representatives most knowledgeable about the activities of the study team, and they are responsible for quality assurance that the study footprint is appropriately depicting these study activities. Further, the COR reviews the study footprint to confirm that it corresponds to the study’s geographic reference documented in narrative, tabular, and/or graphical format in the study’s BOEM ESP final report.