OceanViewer gathers ocean data and forecasts from multiple sources and organizes them under a common, simple-to-use interface.

 

Simply put... OceanViewer is a "Kijiji or Craigslist" for ocean data and model predictions.

 






Under the hood...

 

OceanViewer is a pilot project of the MEOPAR Network of Centres of Excellence. Early support for its development was provided by the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Ocean Science and Technology.






In OceanViewer, our goal is to narrow the gap between ocean scientists and end-users wanting to access information about the ocean environment, including fishermen, surfers, divers, aquaculture farmers, communities, sailors, tourists, scientists, etc. We plan to achieve our goal through the following specific objectives.

Objective 1) Develop an easy-to-use interface for data browsing and visualization that is focused on the needs of the end-users.

 

Objective 2) Gather ALL ocean data and forecasts through synergistic interactions with data providers. We believe that all data providers together can accomplish more that the sum of each on their own. We believe that a “one-stop-shop” for ocean data will result in increased exposure to each of the participating providers. To maximize the web-traffic to data providers, OceanViewer only shows “pictures” of ocean conditions and re-directs end-users (via prominent links, logos and “download data” buttons) to the provider's sites where the "actual data" can be downloaded, or examined in more detail, and where important metadata can be found.

 

Objective 3) Create a “citizen oceanography” platform where citizens and other end-users can, themselves, participate in collecting and presenting ocean-related data, which are then shared with the broader community. We want to empower people not only by enabling them to upload their own data and interesting findings (e.g. animal sightings), but also by allowing them to compare their data against predictions from available ocean and atmosphere models, so that they can gain insight and intuition about the comparability of their local conditions with model forecasts. The intention is that this platform will also serve to promote Citizen Scientist involvement in future community-based data collection efforts that might be supported by the MEOPAR Network.

 

In the pilot stage, OceanViewer focuses exclusively on the Atlantic Canada coast, from Labrador to the Gulf of Maine. This is part of a broader effort by MEOPAR, in cooperation with its partners, to promote the coordination of observations and data sharing in this region. Opportunities may arise in the future to extend the OceanViewer platform to other regions of Canada’s coastline, and internationally.