OCEAN BIOGEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM

Project Description
Developed as part of the Census of Marine Life, the Ocean Biogeographic Information System, or OBIS, is world's largest on-line, database to explain the diversity, distribution and abundance of life in the ocean, past, present and future. In June 2009, OBIS has been adopted by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO and continues its operations under IOC's International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) programme.

OBIS is a web-based provider of global geo-referenced information on marine
species. We contain expert species level and habitat level databases and
provide a variety of spatial query tools for visualizing relationships among
species and their environment. OBIS strives to assess and integrate biological,
physical, and chemical oceanographic data from multiple sources. Users of OBIS,
including researchers, students, and environmental managers, will gain a
dynamic view of the multi-dimensional oceanic world. You can explore this
constantly expanding and developing facility through the OBIS Portal.

The OBIS Portal accesses data content, information infrastructure, and
informatics tools - maps, visualizations, and models - to provide a dynamic,
global facility in four dimensions (the three dimensions of space plus time).
Potential uses are to reveal new spatial/temporal patterns; to generate new
hypotheses about the global marine ecosystem; and to guide future field
expeditions. The scope of OBIS offers new challenges in data management,
scientific cooperation and organization, and innovative approaches to data
analysis. Maintaining the principle of open access, the digital atlas developed
by OBIS is expected to provide a fundamental basis for societal and
governmental decisions on how to harvest and conserve marine life.