Page 03/09/2015 16:15:24

GIS and Database System



To archive the raw data collected via observations and modeling so that it is available for current and future investigation, we are establishing an archival database and a marine GIS system that can be used for analysis and display of the acquired data sets. Resulting products will include visual, statistical and management services.

The data obtained through Integrated Ocean Processes group will be archived at KAUST using a tool, Datalib, created in the Red Sea Research Center (RSRC). Datalib is an archival data base that encompasses all of the data types, including data and metadata, that are expected to be acquired within the context of the Aramco Center – meteorological, oceanographic ecological, biological, geological, bathymetric, etc., and including model result. The robust, web-based database will incorporate time series oceanographic data, spatially variable profiles, video and images, and is also appropriate for reef mapping, GIS analysis, and multivariate statistical analyses, including times series analysis. A web interface will be available for more general use and can serve as information system for science, management and other reef stakeholders. In addition, some of the information may be made available to the general public as it could be of use for recreation or professional activities (state of the sea, wind etc.). An added benefit of this approach is that the visibility of such data will increase public awareness of the efforts made by Aramco and KAUST to protect the environment.

The group will develop a marine geographical information system (GIS) capability to provide a mechanism for mapping, analysis, and management based on the various data sets that are being acquired by the Aramco Center as well as the RSRC. The GIS system is based on the ESRI GIS platform in order to provide a system that is commercially supported and which will provide interchange with other GIS systems. Recent advances in marine GIS provide the capability to examine 3-dimensional distributions of properties and to incorporate the output from complex oceanographic models into the GIS system. An integrated GIS system provides a tool for evaluating long-term trends as well as providing a capability for managing short-term intensive efforts such as an oil spill, or other accidental contaminant release. 


Map showing benthic community composition in the Southern Red Sea, salinity data collected by gliders in the Central and Northern Red Sea, temperature data by gliders & CODAR coverage of the Central Red Sea, and across the top, atmospheric data over five time steps (courtesy Ute Langner)

Marine GIS systems are an emerging area of development in the GIS arena. The availability of computational and visualization resources within KAUST provides the possibility of creating a significant demonstration of the integration of 4-dimensional observations, models and visualizations within the GIS framework as envisioned by the Integrated Ocean Processes research endeavor.