Real Time Mapping of BP Oil Spill Response Vessels

Today, NOAA has launched an exciting new web tool that offers the general public a glimpse into the information responders to the Gulf Oil Spill are receiving.  Among a number of interactive mapping features, the site offers near-real time (updated approximately every 10 minutes) AIS data from the vessels supporting the largest oil spill response and recovery operation in U.S. history. Using this website, the public gains access into crucial information about the oil spill response. NOAA tells us more:

Originally designed for responders, who make operational decisions, to the oil spill disaster, http://www.GeoPlatform.gov/gulfresponse (LINK) integrates the latest data on the oil spill’s trajectory, fishery closed areas, wildlife and place-based Gulf Coast resources — such as pinpointed locations of oiled shoreline and daily position of research ships — into one customizable interactive map.

The launch of the public site is designed to facilitate communication and coordination among a variety of users — from federal, state and local responders to local community leaders and the public — the site is designed to be fast, user-friendly and constantly updated.

The site employs the Environmental Response Management Application (ERMA®), a web-based GIS platform developed through a joint partnership between NOAA and the University of New Hampshire’s Coastal Response Research Center, and includes data from Homeland Security, the Coast Guard, the Fish and Wildlife Service, EPA, NASA , U.S. Geological Survey and the Gulf states.  The site will serve as the official federal source for map-based data.

Check out the tool for yourself at http://www.GeoPlatform.gov/gulfresponse (LINK) and let us know what you think in the comments.

Special thanks to Kurt Schwehr of UNH for finally spilling the beans on this (oh and thanks for the image). You can read more about this technology  HERE.