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Offshore Data Collection

March 26, 2018

Field data collection is by no means limited to the confines of terra firma!

NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary has been successfully using Fulcrum to help city, state, and federal natural resource management agencies collect, access, and share marine enforcement data throughout the state of California.

eFINS Data Collection

Photo credit: Jessica Morten, NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary

Protecting Marine Resources

The primary mission of the NOAA sanctuary site is the protection of the exceptional natural and cultural resources contained within its boundaries. In support of this mission, the electronic Fisheries Information Network System (eFINS) effort was launched as a pilot inter-agency data collection program designed to electronically track marine enforcement activities across southern California.

Partner agencies, including California Department of Fish & Wildlife and the National Park Service use Fulcrum to record data associated with engagements with boaters and anglers, which may include issuing warnings and citations for unlawful or harmful activities within protected waters. Fulcrum provides a standardized platform for data entry, which leads to better cooperation between agencies and greater awareness of overall enforcement activity among stakeholders.

eFINS Data Entry

Modern Nautical Charts

Internet access cannot be guaranteed while patrolling offshore, so data collectors need a common basemap that can be used offline. Fortunately, NOAA recently launched their Chart Tile Service, which provides standardized nautical chart tilesets for the public. This service provides easy access to the most up-to-date, authoritative nautical charts in user-friendly formats, include MBTiles and Tile Map Service (TMS), which means they are instantly compatible with Fulcrum!

NOAA Chart Tile Service


‍Using NOAA Charts in Fulcrum

The entire coast of California is available to download as a single ~500MB “quilted tileset” MBTiles file. You can also use the interactive Tileset Locator to zoom in to an area of interest and download a smaller single-chart tileset. The downloaded MBTiles file can be uploaded to your Fulcrum organization for easy access to users, or added directly to the device (Android guide, iOS guide). If you don’t need offline access, you can simply load the Chart Tile Service as a Tile XYZ layer in Fulcrum.

NOAA Chart Tile Service
eFINS Data

The Power of Open Data Standards

Fulcrum’s support for open and accessible data standards and formats such as MBTiles and TMS allows organizations like NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary to integrate relevant map layers into their applications. Kudos to NOAA for building this excellent service on open technology and making it publicly available and thanks to all the enforcement agencies for keeping our marine resources safe!