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The Eelgrass Maps

These maps are for planning purposes only and not for CRMC permit applications.

The purpose of this mapping project is to provide resource managers and the public with an interactive way to access existing data that shows the extent of known eelgrass beds in Rhode Island. (Not all areas of Rhode Island have been surveyed or researched yet, so these maps do not depict all eelgrass beds that may reside along the coast.)

Managers, biologists, and the public will be able to gauge the approximate extent of eelgrass in certain areas for a better understanding of potential impacts their activities may have on these vulnerable habitats.

The map data were created using a Geographic Information System (GIS), which is a computer system that is able to store and analyze multiple layers (ex. eelgrass, streams, roads) of geographically referenced information (digital data with known earth coordinates). Rather than working with static maps, the user is able to work interactively with the data, choosing what layers to see and what attribute data to query. The computer is able to show graphically the spatial extent and attributes of the various layers, and how they relate together. This makes analysis and understanding of the data much clearer to the user.

Please note that this IMS is best used with Internet Explorer version 4 or higher via a highspeed connection such as DSL, cable, T1, or ethernet.

These maps are brought to you through an Internet Map Server (IMS). This new technology is a means of publishing GIS projects on a website for interactive use by anyone with high-speed access to the Internet. Because the GIS project is already built and running, the user is able to quickly and efficiently perform basic GIS functions to answer their questions. There is no need for the user to have formal GIS training or expensive GIS software. Only a little training is necessary to orient the user with the available tools in order to start working with spatial data.

IMS is quickly becoming the preferred way to share spatial data with the public. Visit ESRI's Internet Mapping site to see examples of other IMS projects used around the world.