International Ocean Biogeographic Information System
Data Center Description
The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS, http://www.iobis.org/) is the information component of the Census of Marine Life (CoML), a growing network of researchers in more than 45 nations engaged in a 10-year initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the oceans - past, present, and future.
OBIS is a web-based provider of global geo-referenced information on marine species. We contain expert species level and habitat level databases and provide a variety of spatial query tools for visualizing relationships among species and their environment. OBIS strives to assess and integrate biological, physical, and chemical oceanographic data from multiple sources. Users of OBIS, including researchers, students, and environmental managers, will gain a dynamic view of the multi-dimensional oceanic world. You can explore this constantly expanding and developing facility through the OBIS Portal.
The OBIS Portal accesses data content, information infrastructure, and informatics tools - maps, visualizations, and models - to provide a dynamic, global facility in four dimensions (the three dimensions of space plus time). Potential uses are to reveal new spatial/temporal patterns; to generate new hypotheses about the global marine ecosystem; and to guide future field expeditions. The scope of OBIS offers new challenges in data management, scientific cooperation and organization, and innovative approaches to data analysis. Maintaining the principle of open access, the digital atlas developed by OBIS is expected to provide a fundamental basis for societal and governmental decisions on how to harvest and conserve marine life.