The ability to download data in the form of shapefiles from the AODN Portal, has previously not been a requirement in regards to IMOS data. However, several of our AODN partners do have data expressed in the form of shapefiles, and the ability to be able to download data from the AODN Portal was highly desired.
The types of datasets that are commonly expressed as shapefiles, include benthic habitat maps and certain types of biological data. End users are interested in downloading these data in shapefile format instead of CSV or netCDF because GIS software like ArcGIS (proprietary) or QGIS (open source) are commonly used to interact with this type of data.
The new feature is also compatible with subsetting options on step 2, which results in the production of a shapefile representing the reduced data set selected by the user. Users can spatially subset with a bounding box, as well as additional filters specific to the collection such as “habitat type” for benthic habitat visualisations.
In recent weeks, the ability to download shapefiles was released into the AODN Portal, and we anticipate now harvesting many more data collections into the Portal, with the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS) being one of the first institutions to configure their metadata records to accommodate this new feature.
An example of a data collection that has been enabled with this new feature: Seabed Habitat Solitary Islands Marine Park and Commonwealth Marine Reserve (South), from the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), New South Wales Government