In 2006 New York passed the Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act. This law called for incorporation of Ecosystem-based Management principles into state decision making. One of the requirements of the legislation, was to “…create an ocean and coastal resources atlas to make information available to the public and decision makers…” New York Department of State (DOS) developed a web-accessible mapping interface that made geospatial information related to ecosystem-based management available to the public and decision makers. The site operated from July 2008 until September 29th, 2015 when it was replaced by OPDCI’s Geographic Information Gateway (Gateway).
The Gateway (http://opdgig.dos.ny.gov/) is an award-winning online mapping application that, like the Mid-Atlantic Ocean data Portal (M-A ODP), provides public access to geospatial data, real-time information, interactive tools, and expert knowledge. Interactive map viewers enable users to easily download, visualize, and explore geographic data relevant to New York communities and offshore waters. The Gateway is a “client” of the M-A ODP by ingesting several map layers from the M-A ODP and providing them for viewing and use with Gateway data. A Latest Conditions page provides access to real-time information across the State, such as water quality, tide levels, and beach conditions. Also included on this site are illustrated stories, which highlight case studies, showcase community success stories, and demonstrate how the Office uses available geographic information to improve planning and decision-making. The Gateway’s suite of information and tools serves as a valuable resource for New York communities, an educational resource for schools and universities, and a guide for the responsible development of the State’s resources.
Despite winning several awards in 2016 and 2017, in this fast-paced world of the internet age and web-based applications, 5 – 6 years old is ancient and the Gateway is showing its age. We have resources in place, assembled a stellar development team and have an ambitious work plan laid out that will bring the Gateway back to the forefront of what can be done with web applications. While there will be significant backend upgrades and changes made to support the expanded capacity and growth planned, the new functionalities and applications are most exciting! Here are some of what will be coming over the next two years of development:
- Improved User Experience –
- data will be enriched to provide interactive learning opportunities such as images and videos relevant to the dataset for example, clicking on a wind lease area opens a video on offshore wind or clicking on a predicted abundance area for a specific species opens life history information about the species.
- Improved search will allow for wild card capability providing a list of potential search topics as the search word or phrase is spelled out, fuzzy search to account for mis-spellings and voice search for example speaking into a desktop microphone or mobile device “show me sea turtle data.”
- Allow users to drag and drop data layers from other portals (such as the M-A ODP) into the Gateway viewer.
- More interactive story maps and more story development.
- Data expansion and improvements
- Expand crowd-sourced/citizen science created data holdings
- Include real time and near-real time as data that can be viewed and accessed
- Provide the ability for users to give feedback on datasets through a rating system and by commenting for example “this dataset was exactly what I was looking for because…”
- Major Tool Development
- A kid-friendly interface leveraging the power and information on the Gateway designed to engage youth in discovering the State’s geography and learning about our resources. The site will offer a learn by exploration experience as well as the chance to play games and quizzes that will lead to learning about New York’s places and resources.
- Develop scenario planning tool(s) that will allow users to visualize future conditions. The Gateway will support a platform that integrates 3D visualization, and Augmented Reality (AR) to support decision-making.
- Develop a New York State-specific Environmental Justice mapping application, a map viewer leveraging the functionality of the Gateway map viewer with added functionality based on some of the best features of other existing EJ mapping applications.
- Develop a more interactive component to the Gateway that allows users to add points, line and polygons and carry out queries and analyses. This will allow users to highlight areas of overlapping interest and add their own data points. Users will be able to save as their own layer which can be added to the Gateway viewer during future sessions.
There are many more exciting changes coming and you can keep abreast of what is happening with the Gateway by clicking on the Facebook icon at the bottom of the Gateway home page.
In November of 2021, a workshop entitled “Developing a New Jersey Statewide OA Monitoring Network” was facilitated by Rutgers University and the ocean acidification team from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection’s Coastal Management Program (NJCMP). The workshop hosted attendees from entities who are collecting OA data and whose partnership would be essential in building a strong monitoring network. The objectives of the workshop were as follows:
- Review the existing acidification monitoring in New Jersey state waters and the current observation gaps
- Collectively summarize locations, time periods, and potential approaches to optimize and expand monitoring in New Jersey
- Discuss required costs, logistics, and next steps needed to develop, coordinate, and maintain a statewide acidification monitoring network
- Discuss strategies for communication, engagement, and partnerships with industry stakeholders
A document summarizing what was presented and discussed during the workshop has recently been made available and can be found here: https://njclimateresourcecenter.rutgers.edu/workshop-explores-ocean-acidification-monitoring/