Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Around the Arctic May 13, 2013 - 3:02 pm

WWF launches new Arctic mapping tool

"Good maps are preconditions for sound management"

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
This map developed by WWF shows the location of bowhead in the Arctic. (IMAGE COURTESY OF WWF)
This map developed by WWF shows the location of bowhead in the Arctic. (IMAGE COURTESY OF WWF)

As Arctic Council ministers prepare to meet May 15 in Kiruna, Sweden, the WWF has released a new mapping tool that can produce maps showing industrial activity and natural features.

The goal: to help “informed public debate about natural values and human activities.”

The web-based maps, which incorporate research data, show where Arctic oil activity may clash with marine mammals or how the melting ice has influenced shipping routes, WWF said in a May 13 news release.

“Arctic nature and peoples desperately need environmentally sustainable management practices. A well-informed and active public can help push for such practices, and these maps can help in supplying that information.

“Everywhere in the world, good maps are preconditions for sound management and informed public debate about natural values and human activities,” said Nina Jensen from WWF Norway.

The ArkGIS allows anyone to produce their own maps showing natural resources and updated overviews of activities like shipping or oil drilling.

Users can download pre-made maps and videos or develop customized maps on their own, using an interactive map service, WWF said.

It’s available for “anyone with a computer and an internet connection,” said Lars Erik Mangset, WWF project leader for ArkGIS.

ArkGIS has brought together data from several Arctic Council working groups, the Institute of Marine Research, and the Norwegian Coastal Administration.

Map layers to date include 368 identified areas, Arctic shipping traffic and ice coverage.

You can look at ArkGIS here.

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