White paper - Maritime Zones plugin

The new Maritime Zones plugin in Geocap represents a quantum leap in the science of generating maritime limits and boundaries.

Maritime boundaries form the outermost limits of many States and their accurate computation is a matter of national priority. When a State realizes and releases its maritime boundary information it increases the potential for international harmony, economic activity, and environmental protection.

Additionally, many maritime States are developing policy and systems to support Marine Spatial Planning (MSP). MSP promises to ensure the marine domain is managed in a way to support the interests of all users, and in a cost effective manner. MSP is assisted by GIS enabled technologies, allowing for the graphical visualization of possible conflicts in water space use, and their potential remedy. Digital maritime boundaries are a fundamental enabler for MSP.

Precisely calculated digital maritime boundary information reduces ambiguity in the spatial definition of a State’s maritime zones. To minimize the regulatory overhead of maintaining a digital dataset of its maritime limits, a State needs to have access to fast, efficient and precise calculation tools. The ideal tool should be capable of calculating large datasets without the necessity of datum or data format transformations. The tools should also be capable of exporting the data in the IHO’s S-121 Maritime Limits and Boundaries exchange specification.

Geocap Shelf is a software used for continental shelf delineation in accordance with United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, Article 76. One of the tools in this software calculates different distance lines used in the delineation of a State’s extended continental shelf.

In March 2013 Geocap AS and Geoscience Australia signed an agreement on further developing the maritime zones calculations in Geocap by build upon existing integration with the ArcGIS databases in Geoscience Australia. This resulted in the Maritime Zones plugin which was commercially released with Geocap 6.5 in December 2013

Read the full white paper here.