- Researchers at The University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast
Geospatial Center have teamed up with their Louisiana colleagues
to build a "digital coast" through the support of a $500,000
award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
going to collect, purchase and share data to develop a coastal digital
data repository to be used by Southern Miss and University of New
Orleans researchers," said Ed Pinero, associate director of
outreach for the university's geospatial center and principal investigator
on the digital coast project.
is that this project is going to provide a central location of coastal-specific
data that can be used by the university researchers, resource managers
and economic development organizations to track trends taking place
on the Mississippi Gulf Coast," Pinero said.
will be formatting and storing digital satellite imagery, aerial
photography and historical data. Pinero said it is no small task
to put years of data into the format of geographical information
systems (GIS) that will make it more accessible for current studies
and consistent with formats required by technologies used at Southern
is fisheries data from the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory,"
he said. "Those data are so all-encompassing. There are 30-years
of research data. Some is hand-written, some in old databases. Once
we have digitized that data, instead of being on paper, the new
format will give the university the capacity for long-term storage
of large historical data sets."
coast will support such investigations as identification and analysis
of change in fisheries habitat and measurement of nonpoint source
pollution. The ability to mine the data, combined with Southern
Miss researchers' related scientific investigations, will strengthen
planning related to potential coastal hazards, environmental impacts,
homeland security, economic development and other coastal issues.
the project's GIS analyst has already started digitizing historical
data. The team is also assessing needs of researchers and identifying
inventories of coastal data.
center is headquartered at the Southern Miss Gulf Coast Research
Laboratory in Ocean Springs.