This map shows five of the 261 layers from the

BOEM AND NOAA team recognized for leadership in managing GIS mapping for ocean uses. team to receive
Nebert National Spatial Data Infrastructure Award


BOEM and NOAA, in cooperation with Federal and state partners, originally developed a GIS-based marine information data viewer for U.S. waters. Since the beginning of this initiative, this project has grown exponentially. The data viewer was created to comply with Section 388 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, but is also providing the geospatial framework needed for the broader coastal and marine spatial planning initiative called for in the President’s ocean agenda. has evolved into an integrated marine information website that, in addition to the national viewer, includes a data registry, planning tools, a map gallery, example uses, and technical support products. provides authoritative and regularly updated ocean information, including offshore boundaries, infrastructure, human use, energy potential, and other data sets. It is especially useful to those looking to assess suitability for ocean uses, such as energy siting.

 Marine Cadastre

Audience products were designed for use by Federal regulatory agencies, regional marine planners, state intergovernmental task forces, and the offshore wind energy industry.

Future Direction

The website and products are continually evolving and growing to include relevant issue-driven data. The project is currently focusing on strengthening the biodiversity and human use data, as well as building decision support tools to support marine spatial planning.

Technological Innovation takes advantage of the data distribution advances provided by web mapping services, a technology that allows data to reside on servers maintained by the authoritative data sources, and yet these same data can be accessed on demand through the National Viewer. In addition, through the use of, users are enabled to view data along side state and local level data, which can be crucial to offshore planning. Examples of various data mash-ups (such as in the image below) are available in the Map Gallery.

NC Renewable Energy Task Force MMC Gallery Map

Partner Leveraging

The project team works with various regional ocean partnerships and planning bodies to provide data along with their regional ocean data in their regional portals. Below is a list of regional ocean partnership groups working with

Documented Uses

The project team tries to connect with users to identify and understand their needs to help improve products. The following are documented uses of

  • Map and identify areas for potential leasing
  • Illustrate project planning activities and known information to stakeholders in the Pacific
  • Analyze uses of the outer continental shelf to find user conflicts
  • Compile relevant data in one location for state task force meetings
  • Inform the public about offshore areas offered for potential future sales in the Gulf of Mexico and Arctic during the period of 2012-2017 within the Outer Continental Shelf 5-year program.
  • Determine potential constraints for developers
  • Map ship noise, study and change routes into ports, and monitor compliance with sanctuary navigation restrictions
  • Integrate into regional ocean governance portals, including those in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and West Coast 
  • Create GIS layers for regulatory boundaries for fisheries and endangered species

More uses and full stories of uses can be found within our Example Uses map.