Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
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About SeaSketch SeaSketch is a software service developed at the University of California Santa Barbara Marine Science Institute that represents the next-generation tool for collaborative marine planning. It is a fexible, web-based platform designed for any number of spatial planning purposes. Recognizing that there is no one-sizefts-all technological solution to marine planning, project administrators (typically planners or agency personnel) may confgure SeaSketch to refect the specifc planning goals and objectives of their region. End-users may use SeaSketch to: • v isualizemapdata; • ontributeinformationaboutthedistributionofresourcesand c activities and create new map data in response to surveys; • s ketchprospectivemanagementplans; • e valuateandcomparetradeofsforscenariosusingscience, policy, and management-based guidelines; and • s hare and discuss prospective plans and their associated analytical reports in a dynamic, map-based forum. Custom Results When a user sketches a spatial plan, SeaSketch analyzes that plan and the underlying data, and returns a report customized for each individual project. A simple analysis, for example, might measure the size of a user-drawn prospective wind farm and the area of several map layers (e.g., the distribution of energy potential or valued fshing grounds) captured within that area. The report presents output using meaningful terms, such as: "This wind farm could generate enough energy to support 10,000 households in this region. It would also negatively impact commercial fsheries by $1 million per year. You have met (or not met) the management guidelines for the design of a wind farm in this region." Hands On For any given SeaSketch project, the owner decides how information is analyzed to produce a report that is useful to the end user. Generally, tables and fgures that require a great deal of interpretation are not helpful to the average user. Project administrators must ensure that reports provide information about the consequences of the design. While SeaSketch is relatively simple to confgure, encoding analytics and reports will invariably take a great deal of thought, perhaps involving a team of scientists and planners, to weed out unnecessary information and provide the end user reports with meaningful, helpful feedback. 64 Proceedings Fall 2013 The challenges to such data- and stakeholder-driven marine planning are numerous. Some things to consider: ➤ How can we gather information on human ➤ ➤ activitydistributiontomoreaccuratelyrefect how ocean space is currently used? Given that most stakeholders have no experience with GIS, geospatial analysis, modeling, or spatial planning, how can we ensure that thevaluesinagivenpopulationaresuffciently represented in a marine spatial plan? Finally, as values change, science improves, and better spatial information becomes available, howshouldplansbeupdatedtorefectthese changes? In part, the answer to these questions is better geospatial information technology, a commitment to transparent and inclusive planning, and an emerging approach to computer-aided design called GeoDesign. Inclusive Design Process GeoDesign allows its users to sketch virtually any potential design and obtain feedback on information like the environmental, energy potential, and economic consequences of those designs. Through iterativesketchingandanalysis,usersmayrefne their designs, while learning about the underlying map data, design criteria, and the planning goals and objectives. Contrast this approach with modeling techniques that limit users to choosing among alternative, computer-generatedscenariosbasedonpredefned design criteria. Optimization algorithms are appealing because, given good data and parametersthataccuratelyrefectplanninggoalsandobjectives, they help narrow the solution set to the best options, given certain criteria. With GeoDesign, the freedom to sketch and evaluate virtually any scenario does two important things for its end users. First, it helps them discover "good" or "bad" options. For example, a planning initiative for an offshore wind farm may show that certain areas in the region under consideration experience little or no wind and, therefore, have little value to developers. In this case, planners may be tempted to limit proposals to those that fall within areas of greater than zero wind potential. However, stakeholders are much more likely to trust the outcome of the design process if they are allowed to sketch www.uscg.mil/proceedings