May 26, 2022

Two New Online Research Tools With Data About the Oceans

Resource #1

LITTERBASE:  Online Portal for Marine Litter

LITTERBASE summarises results from 1,320 scientific studies in understandable global maps and figures and opens scientific knowledge on marine litter to the public.

See Also: “Plastic Makes Up Nearly 70% of All Ocean Litter” (via Science)

Resource #2

Ecological Marine Unit Explorer (via USGS)

Baseline data needed to help scientists detect changes and to help nations protect living marine resources from depletion are now better understood thanks to state-of-the-art mapping technologies.

To meet the need for a consistent, objective, and complete description of open-ocean environments, the Group on Earth Observations charged USGS ecologist Dr. Roger Sayre with a task to map the world’s ocean ecosystems.

In response, the USGS formed a public-private partnership with ESRI, NOAA, academia, and non-profit organizations to produce the first ever detailed maps that group the entire global ocean into 37 distinct 3D ecosystems. The groundbreaking work to produce the first-of-its-kind, objective, and true 3D global marine ecosystems maps is described in two recent USGS-led publications in the journal Oceanography and an AAG Special Publication.

The resulting ecosystem data and maps are available in a web-based app called the Ecological Marine Unit Explorer. This app, also available for cell phones here or here, organizes an incredibly rich collection of data and provides a convenient open-data platform to facilitate science and marine resource management.

“The web-based app and cell phone apps are examples of appropriate technologies for exploring Earth’s most remote places,” said Sayre. “They enable an improved global understanding of a vast but limited resource.”

See Also: Ecological Marine Unit Explorer

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.