Map Once, Use Many Times

NOAA IOCM Coordination Team

NOAA’s IOCM Coordination Team consists of 25 programs inside NOAA that collect, use or steward ocean and coastal mapping data. The team embraces a cooperative approach to the suite of activities needed to implement integrated mapping. Many NOAA IOCM members actively partner within and outside of the agency. Members of the NOAA IOCM Coordination Team work together to meet NOAA's mapping needs, modify projects to meet more than one objective, and improve NOAA's ability to use data for multiple applications (i.e., bathymetry for charting and bottom type for habitat mapping). NOAA also partners with federal, state, and local governments, academia, non-governmental organizations and the private sector to develop mapping standards and techniques, improve data management and access, and implement cooperative projects. These partnerships include specific projects, joint research efforts, and established ocean policy groups such as the federal Interagency Working Group on Ocean and Coastal Mapping. NOAA members are featured below:

National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS)


The National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service provides secure and timely access to global environmental data and information from satellites and other sources to promote and protect the Nation's security, environment, economy, and quality of life. Supporting IOCM, NESDIS’ National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) provide authoritative data stewardship and archive services for over 37 petabytes of publically accessible atmospheric, coastal, oceanic, and geophysical data. NCEI also develops scientific products and services across a range of environmental disciplines in order to enable better data discovery and understanding. Guidelines for submitting Marine Geological and Geophysical Data to the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) can be found at

Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO)

marine and aviation

The Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO) manages and operates NOAA's fleet of 16 research and survey ships and nine aircraft. OMAO’s research and survey ships comprise the largest fleet of federal research ships in the Nation. Ranging from large oceanographic research vessels capable of exploring the world’s deepest ocean, to smaller ships responsible for charting the shallow bays and inlets of the United States, the fleet supports a wide range of marine activities including fisheries research, nautical charting, and ocean and climate studies. OMAO’s aircraft operate throughout the world providing a wide range of capabilities including hurricane reconnaissance and research, marine mammal and fisheries assessment, and coastal mapping. NOAA aircraft carry scientists and specialized instrument packages to conduct research for NOAA’s missions. Supporting IOCM, the NOAA Fleet acquires data and partners with charter, contract, academic, and philanthropic communities.

National Weather Service (NWS)


The National Weather Service (NWS) provides weather, water, and climate data, forecasts and warnings for the protection of life and property and enhancement of the national economy. Supporting IOCM, NWS’ Marine, Tropical, Tsunami Services Branch, Office of Observations, and National Water Center provide observational data and develop models in support of nowcasts and forecasts.

National Ocean Service (NOS)


The National Ocean Service (NOS) provides data, tools, and services that support coastal economies and their contribution to the national economy. NOS is dedicated to advancing (1) safe and efficient transportation and commerce, (2) preparedness and risk reduction, and (3) stewardship, recreation, and tourism. Supporting IOCM, NOS’ Office of Coast Survey conducts surveying and charting and relies upon a wide range of oceanic and coastal data to meet its mission to promote safe and efficient marine transportation. NOS’ National Geodetic Survey provides elevation and imagery data to regularly update the national shoreline for supporting maritime navigation; define national territorial limits, and manage coastal resources. NOS’ National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science delivers ecosystem science solutions to sustain thriving coastal communities and economies. NOS’ Office for Coastal Management supports coastal zone management through the the mapping of coastal land cover and provision of data and information resources from its constituent-driven Digital Coast platform. Under this umbrella, NOS also has a number of geospatial contract vehicles supporting data collection and processing.

Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR)


The Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR)—or “NOAA Research”—provides the research foundation for understanding the complex systems that support our planet. Supporting IOCM, OAR's Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) is the only federal organization dedicated to exploring the global ocean. OER works with partners to explore the ocean to make discoveries of scientific, economic, and cultural value; support innovations in exploration tools and capabilities; and encourage the next generation of ocean explorers, scientists, and engineers to pursue careers in ocean exploration and related fields. The data and information collected during expeditions and the research OER supports are publicly available, giving resource managers, the academic community, and the private sector the information they need to identify, understand, and manage ocean resources for this and future generations of Americans. OER also works with partners to expand the national ocean exploration program.

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS)


NOAA Fisheries is responsible for the stewardship of the nation's ocean resources and their habitats. Fisheries collects and relies upon a wide range of oceanic and coastal data to meet its many missions, including fisheries regulation, climate change mitigation strategies, and stock and habitat assessments to name a few. Supporting IOCM, NMFS’ Office of Science and Technology supports science programs to collect and assess habitat information, including the use of multibeam mapping during fishery-independent surveys, to incorporate such information into ecosystem-based management decisions. NMFS’ Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program supports and coordinates mapping, benthic surveys, habitat modeling, and innovative research on deep-sea coral and sponge ecosystems across the country to further the state of science and to inform management decisions. NMFS’ regional science centers conduct surveys and assessments of fishery and protected resources, collaborate with regional offices and fishery management councils to inform and support regulatory actions, and work with partners to address applied research questions. Since the seabed is a fundamental component of marine ecosystems and a detailed understanding of its properties is important for scientific management of ecosystems, NMFS also supports IOCM by identifying ocean and coastal mapping priorities and ground-truthing interpretations.