Home > Explore Data & Reports > Where, what, when, and why is bottom mapping needed? An on-line application to set priorities using expert opinion


Kendall, M.S., K. Buja, C. Menza, and T. Battista. 2018. Where, what, when, and why is bottom mapping needed? An on-line application to set priorities using expert opinion. Geosciences, 8(10):379. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8100379

Data/Report Type:

Peer-Reviewed Publication


Globally there is a lack of resources to survey the vast seafloor areas in need of basic mapping data. Consequently, smaller areas must be prioritized to address the most urgent needs. We developed a systematic, quantitative approach and on-line application to gather mapping suggestions from diverse stakeholders. Participants are each provided with 100 virtual coins to place throughout a region of interest to convey their mapping priorities. Inputs are standardized into a spatial framework using a grid and pull-down menus. These enabled participants to convey the types of mapping products that they need, the rationale used to justify their needs, and the locations that they prioritize for mapping. This system was implemented in a proposed National Marine Sanctuary encompassing 2784 km2 of Lake Michigan, Wisconsin. We demonstrate key analyses of the outputs including coin counts, cell ranking, and multivariate cluster analysis for isolating high priority topics and locations. These techniques partition the priorities among the disciplines of the respondents, their selected justifications, and types of desired map products. The results enable respondents to identify potential collaborations to achieve common goals and more effectively invest limited mapping funds. The approach can be scaled to accommodate larger geographic areas and numbers of participants and is not limited to seafloor mapping.

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