“In order to manage the complex issues affecting the nation’s MPAs, managers often turn to technology for help in understanding and analyzing the resources and environments of their MPAs. MPA managers and scientists are increasingly using geographic information systems (GIS) to manage, map and analyze the resources under their jurisdiction.
“A geographic information system is a computer system capable of capturing, storing, manipulating, analyzing and displaying data that describe the geography of a particular place. Often considered a mapping tool, a GIS offers a way to view, query, interpret, and visualize various sorts of spatial data to reveal geographic relationships, patterns, and trends. Maps, charts, and analytical reports can be derived from the data stored in a GIS as a means of documenting and explaining spatial patterns and relationships to assist in planning and decision-making processes.
“The MPA Center uses GIS to manage information related to marine protected areas throughout the United States to help better understand the spatial patterns of MPAs, the resources they protect and the effectiveness of MPAs as a marine management tool.” …
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