Short Citation:
Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, 2021: California Ocean Uses Atlas: Industrial sector,

Item Identification

Title: California Ocean Uses Atlas: Industrial sector
Short Name: CA_ocean_uses_atlas_industrial
Status: Completed
Publication Date: 2010-03-03

This dataset is a result of the California Ocean Uses Atlas Project: a collaboration between NOAA's National Marine Protected Areas Center and Marine Conservation Biology Institute. The Project was designed to enhance ocean management through geospatial data on the full range of significant human uses of California's ocean environment from the shoreline to the 200 nm EEZ boundary. Data was gathered from regional ocean experts and users through participatory GIS methods. For more information on the project scope, background and related data products, please visit


The California Ocean Uses Atlas Project fills a critical information gap in ocean management by providing an unprecedented, comprehensive, consistent and spatially explicit picture of human uses for management agencies, policy makers and stakeholders interested in sound and equitable ocean governance. Using participatory GIS concepts and applications, the Atlas Project generated spatial data and map products illustrating patterns, intensity, and temporal changes in a wide range of human uses in three broad categories of use: (i) fishing, (ii) non-consumptive, and (iii) industrial activities. The resulting datasets depict patterns of ocean use on a broad scale appropriate for a variety of ocean planning and management needs. This dataset contains the industrial activities, and is part of the larger California Ocean Uses Atlas database.




Theme Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
ISO 19115 Topic Category environment
ISO 19115 Topic Category geoscientificInformation
ISO 19115 Topic Category oceans
ISO 19115 Topic Category society
NOS Data Explorer Topic Category Socioeconomics
None Aquaculture
None Human Uses
None Industrial Use
None Military Operations
None Mining and Mineral Extraction
None Ocean Use
None Offshore Alternative Energy
None Offshore Oil and Gas
None Shipping
None Underwater Cables

Spatial Keywords

Thesaurus Keyword
None California
None Exclusive Economic Zone
None Pacific Ocean
None West Coast

Physical Location

Organization: Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
City: Silver Spring
State/Province: MD

Data Set Information

Data Set Scope Code: Data Set
Maintenance Frequency: As Needed
Data Presentation Form: vector digital data
Entity Attribute Overview:

The Industrial sector contains 7 ocean uses: -Aquaculture: includes net pens and shellfish; excludes onshore facilities linked to offshore operations; -Military operations: includes test ranges, war games, acoustic arrays, ship and submarine maneuvers, restricted areas, and munitions disposal; excludes war-time operations; -Mining and mineral extraction: includes sand and gravel, seabed mining, dredging; excludes energy production and beach renourishment; -Offshore alternative energy: includes wave, current, tidal, wind, solar, and associated infrastructure (cables and moorings); excludes oil, gas, and LNG activities; -Offshore oil and gas: includes exploration, production, transportation of gas or oil, LNG, fuel terminals, pipelines, tankers, and seismic air gun exploration; excludes alternative energy operations; -Shipping: includes ships, large commercial vessels, shipping routes and channels including maintenance, and ferries; excludes cruise ships, oil and LNG tankers; -Underwater cables: includes ocean observing and telecommunications; excludes cables associated with utilities and energy transmission, lost fishing gear; For all uses mapped in this sector, the use footprint and dominant use areas are included in the dataset. The use footprint (aka the Maximum Footprint of Use) includes all areas in which the use is known to occur with some regularity, regardless of frequency or intensity. The dominant use areas include areas where the use is most commonly pursued and are defined as areas within the general use footprint that are routinely used by most users most of the time. Future use areas are also included for certain uses where participants anticipated an increase in spatial extent or intensity. Future use areas reflect an anticipated significant and disproportionate (relative to other areas) change in patterns of use through either a lateral expansion of a dominant use area or an increase in intensity of use, or both in the foreseeable future but within the next ten years. "Offshore Alternative Energy" is handled slightly differently, as there are no active alternative energy facilities in California as of 2009. Instead of "footprint" or "dominant", the use is labeled as either "potential future footprint" or "potential future dominant". These are based on ocean conditions and proposed permits.

Entity Attribute Detail Citation:

For more information on use definitions and types, see the readme document within the geodatabase or visit

Distribution Liability:

Atlas data describe broad uses of the ocean, and are not intended to be used for navigational purposes or provide information on regulations affecting human activities.

Support Roles

Data Steward

CC ID: 496834
Date Effective From: 2010-03-03
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): MPA Data Manager
Address: 99 Pacific Street
Monterey, CA 93940
Email Address:
Phone: 831-647-6462
Fax: 831-647-1732


CC ID: 496836
Date Effective From: 2010-03-03
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): MPA Data Manager
Address: 99 Pacific Street
Monterey, CA 93940
Email Address:
Phone: 831-647-6462
Fax: 831-647-1732

Metadata Contact

CC ID: 496837
Date Effective From: 2010-03-03
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): MPA Data Manager
Address: 99 Pacific Street
Monterey, CA 93940
Email Address:
Phone: 831-647-6462
Fax: 831-647-1732

Point of Contact

CC ID: 496835
Date Effective From: 2010-03-03
Date Effective To:
Contact (Position): MPA Data Manager
Address: 99 Pacific Street
Monterey, CA 93940
Email Address:
Phone: 831-647-6462
Fax: 831-647-1732


Currentness Reference: Publication Date

Extent Group 1

Extent Group 1 / Geographic Area 1

CC ID: 496840
W° Bound: -129.005271
E° Bound: -116.299841
N° Bound: 42.09755
S° Bound: 30.415166

Extent Group 1 / Time Frame 1

CC ID: 496839
Time Frame Type: Discrete
Start: 2010-03-03

Spatial Information

Spatial Representation

Representations Used

Vector: Yes

Vector Representation 1

CC ID: 587906
Complex Object Present?: Yes
Complex Object Count: 1

Access Information

Security Class: Unclassified
Data Access Constraints:


Data Use Constraints:

Atlas data describe broad uses of the ocean, and are not intended to be used for navigational purposes or provide information on regulations affecting human activities.

Activity Log

Activity Log 1

CC ID: 496861
Activity Date/Time: 2010-04-10

Date that the source FGDC record was last modified.

Activity Log 2

CC ID: 496860
Activity Date/Time: 2017-04-05

Converted from FGDC Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata (version FGDC-STD-001-1998) using '' script. Contact Tyler Christensen (NOS) for details.

Activity Log 3

CC ID: 587904
Activity Date/Time: 2017-09-13

Partial upload of Spatial Info section only.

Activity Log 4

CC ID: 601917
Activity Date/Time: 2017-11-01

Replaced entire Lineage section to populate new Source Contribution field.

Activity Log 5

CC ID: 718815
Activity Date/Time: 2018-02-08

Partial upload of Positional Accuracy fields only.

Technical Environment


Microsoft Windows XP Version 5.1 (Build 2600) Service Pack 3; ESRI ArcCatalog

Data Quality


Attribute accuracy was maintained by comparing data before and after each process step, and by comparing final product to source data.

Horizontal Positional Accuracy:

Workshops were conducted at a maximum scale of 1:250,000. During post processing, original workshop polygons were aggregated to an ordered one nautical mile grid, so exact use locations within each block are not discernible. Data are intended to portray broad patterns for each use at a comparable scale to inform ocean management but are not intended for navigation or enforcement purposes.

Completeness Report:

Certain uses in the Industrial sector relied on existing authoritative GIS data to augment the workshop-collected data. Offshore alternative energy, underwater cables, military operations, and shipping all relied on existing data to some extent. The original list of industrial ocean uses to be mapped in the workshop process included cruise ship activities, but due to lack of existing data and insufficient expert knowledge of these use patterns, data were not collected for this use and have not been included in this dataset. In 3 of the 4 regional atlas workshops, an attempt was made to map uses of the ocean by tribal peoples. Two distinct approaches were taken. First, we mapped tribal activities taking place within the existing range of ocean uses addressed by the Atlas project (e.g. tribal pursuit of benthic fishing with fixed gear; beach use by tribal peoples). Most of the resulting tribal use patterns fell within either the general maximum footprint or the dominant use area drawn for those uses by other non-tribal participants and are thus not represented as uniquely tribal activities. Second, we attempted to map distinctly tribal use areas tied to specific geographic locations of special cultural, spiritual or historical significance. Although some tribal participants provided relevant information, not all tribal interests were represented in each workshop and some participants were reluctant to portray use patterns of other tribes. As a result, the resulting maps of tribal activity patterns may depict an incomplete or misleading picture of the full spectrum of tribal uses of the ocean in each region. Consequently, in order to avoid misinterpretation of the tribal use patterns, and to maintain data consistency and integrity throughout the Atlas maps, the tribal use data are not explicitly depicted in the public release of the atlas data or map products. They will, however, be provided to the California Marine Life Protection Act Initiative and to the tribal participants for their use, with appropriate explanatory information about their content and limitations. For additional information on the tribal ocean use data, please contact the MPA Center.

Conceptual Consistency:

Logical consistency was maintained by comparing data before and after each process step, and by comparing final product to source data.



California Offshore Wind Energy Potential

CC ID: 601918
Contact Name: Dvorak, M.J., Archer, C.L., Jacobson, M.Z.
Publish Date: 2009-01-01
Extent Type: Discrete
Extent Start Date/Time: 2009
Citation URL:
Source Contribution:

Areas of wind energy potential were added to the "Offshore Alternative Energy" use | Source Geospatial Form: vector digital data | Type of Source Media: electronic mail system

Commercially Navigable Waterways

CC ID: 601920
Contact Name: Vanderbilt Engineering Center for Transportation Operations and Research Vanderbilt UniversityU.S. Dept. of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Statistics (comp.)
Publish Date: 2002-01-01
Extent Type: Discrete
Extent Start Date/Time: 2002
Citation URL:
Source Contribution:

Shipping lanes were used to refine workshop data near major ports as instructed by workshop participants. | Source Geospatial Form: vector digital data | Type of Source Media: online

Digital Offshore Cadastre (DOC) - Pacific83 - Active Platform Structures

CC ID: 601919
Contact Name: Minerals Management Service, Pacific OCS region
Publish Date: 2008-06-01
Extent Type: Discrete
Extent Start Date/Time: 2008-06
Citation URL:
Source Contribution:

Active platform structures were used to inform participant mapping of "oil and gas", "offshore alternative energy", and "aquaculture" uses. | Source Geospatial Form: vector digital data | Type of Source Media: online

NOAA ENC Direct to GIS: Submarine Cable

CC ID: 601921
Contact Name: Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Service (NOS), Office of Coast Survey (OCS)
Publish Date: 2008-01-01
Extent Type: Range
Extent Start Date/Time: 2001
Extent End Date/Time: 2008
Citation URL:
Source Contribution:

Workshop participants confirmed that this was the best available data, and had very little information to add to it except for a couple of nearshore cables. The provided cable data was ingested into the final dataset. | Source Geospatial Form: vector digital data | Type of Source Media: online

Process Steps

Process Step 1

CC ID: 601922

Data were digitized by workshop participant groups in 4 subregions of California (Southern, Central, North Central, and Northern). The workshops were held between November 2008 and July 2009.

Process Date/Time: 2009-01-01 00:00:00

Process Step 2

CC ID: 601923

Data from each group were reviewed following the workshop to: a. Detail any instructions from participants to add/remove areas in post-processing b. Review GIS technician and facilitator workshop notes for any relevant data-editing comments c. Discuss any areas that might require special attention or follow up.

Process Date/Time: 2009-01-01 00:00:00

Process Step 3

CC ID: 601924

Data were processed by Project GIS Specialist to clean artifacts created during the live, participatory mapping process.

Process Date/Time: 2009-01-01 00:00:00

Process Step 4

CC ID: 601925

All polygons were clipped to the appropriate California Atlas sub-region to remove land and any marine areas outside the scope of the workshop.

Process Date/Time: 2009-01-01 00:00:00

Process Step 5

CC ID: 601926

Use-specific procedures were performed based on participant input. This involved removing areas that were stated as not occurring beyond a certain depth or distance from shore

Process Date/Time: 2009-01-01 00:00:00

Process Step 6

CC ID: 601927

A polygon-in-polygon analysis was run for each use using one nautical mile microblocks as the zonal layer to determine the number of groups that identified a use in each grid cell.

Process Date/Time: 2009-01-01 00:00:00

Process Step 7

CC ID: 601928

Data normalized for each use. For the footprint and future use aspects, an analysis cell with any number greater than 0 became a 1. For dominant, if the number of workshop groups who mapped a cell as dominant was at or greater than 50% of the groups who mapped that use, the value became a 1. All other cells became a 0, so that the final field values are binary (1= Yes, 0 = No)

Process Date/Time: 2009-01-01 00:00:00

Process Step 8

CC ID: 601929

After the previous steps were complete for every workshop region and use, the regions were merged into one statewide dataset.

Process Date/Time: 2009-01-01 00:00:00

Process Step 9

CC ID: 601930

Merged regional data was analyzed for completeness and consistency. For areas where boundary patterns did not agree, contextual edits were made based on reviewing workshop notes and making logical edits where appropriate. In the case of "underwater cables", the workshop participants mostly only confirmed the existing GIS data, so the existing data was absorbed into the dataset. In the case of "shipping", the data with reviewed by one of the participants familiar with statewide shipping patterns.

Process Date/Time: 2009-01-01 00:00:00

Process Step 10

CC ID: 601931

The microblock polygons were dissolved for each use, retaining only the blocks where the use occurred. All dissolved polygons were then re-clipped to the study region and added to final geodatabase dataset.

Process Date/Time: 2009-01-01 00:00:00

Catalog Details

Catalog Item ID: 39995
Metadata Record Created By: Tyler Christensen
Metadata Record Created: 2017-04-05 14:27+0000
Metadata Record Last Modified By: SysAdmin InPortAdmin
Metadata Record Last Modified: 2019-06-04 13:14+0000
Metadata Record Published: 2018-02-08
Owner Org: ONMS
Metadata Publication Status: Published Externally
Do Not Publish?: N
Metadata Next Review Date: 2019-02-09