Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2016GU302B

Digital Atlas of Pohnpei State

Institute: Guam
Year Established: 2016 Start Date: 2016-03-01 End Date: 2017-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $26,160 Total Non-Federal Funds: Not available

Principal Investigators: Danko Taborosi, Shahram Khosrowpanah

Abstract: Pohnpei is the political and administrative center of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). It is home to over a third of the nation's population and represents the hub of commercial activity and economic development in the region. In addition, Pohnpei is a part of a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) whose many low-lying yet densely-populated areas are at great risk of natural disasters and effects of climate change and sea-level rise. Sustainable development and effective management of resources, especially in the context of improving resiliency to the effects of climate change and responding to the risk of natural disasters and ameliorating their effects, requires geospatial information of the physical, environmental, and anthropogenic components of the entire system. Such information must be accurate, up-to-date, mutually compatible, and readily available. Given the difficulties in locating and accessing such data on Pohnpei, let alone verifying their quality and actually applying them in decision making, Pohnpei has a great need for a unified, comprehensive, and user-friendly information management system for geospatial data. We propose to create a web-based digital repository and dissemination system for GIS and other geospatial data related to Pohnpei, to include all maps and significant aspects of its natural and man-made geography (see Appendix 1), as well as comparable data for all of Pohnpei State's outer islands (see Appendix 2). The resultant geo-database will be established to incorporate all relevant physical, environmental, and infrastructural information and would include existing data (which would be inventoried and collected as part of this project) and any new data yet to be created, and become the mainstay for future collecting, digitizing, cataloguing, and distributing geospatial data on Pohnpei. Therefore, the overall objective of the project proposed here is to create a robust, comprehensive, and versatile geospatial data server to support all geospatial aspects of planning, disaster risk reduction and emergency response, resource management, sustainable development, research and modeling, conservation, and education on Pohnpei. Based on experiences from Guam and results of comparable projects there, we plan to call the product proposed here the Digital Atlas of Pohnpei so that it can become a sister product to the intensively used and highly successful Digital Atlas of Guam, created in several stages between 2009 and 2013. The Digital Atlas of Pohnpei will be web-based, permanently on-line, and act both as a repository of relevant GIS data and geospatial resources in other formats, as well as a digital point-of-contact and information-sharing hub for anyone involved in resource management, engineering, research, and decision-making in Pohnpei. The data will be catalogued, indexed, and maintained so that they are easily amendable and upgradeable. Whenever interested individuals and agencies access it, they will be accessing the most up-to-date versions. The system will also keep track of metadata, data sources, data ownership, data confidentiality, and any access restrictions that may be imposed on certain datasets by individual parties. Finally, the data will be revised to fit a common projection, and also made available in non-GIS file formats usable by individuals who have no GIS experience or software, but do have needs and responsibilities in areas where geospatial data and analyses are beneficial. This will include a range of pre-formatted and pre-designed maps, georeferenced image overlays, geo-PDFs, and KML files for use in Google Earth. This will ensure that the Atlas is not just a GIS-data hub, but truly the information gateway for nearly any activity with geospatial component.