Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2017GU315B

Digital Atlas of Yap – A Geospatial Map and Data Server for Resource Management

Institute: Guam
Year Established: 2017 Start Date: 2017-03-01 End Date: 2019-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $53,340 Total Non-Federal Funds: Not available

Principal Investigators: Joe Rouse, Danko Taborosi

Abstract: The island of Yap is the westernmost high island in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and the capital of Yap State, one of FSM's four federal units. In addition, Yap 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. Yap 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 Yap. 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 Yap. Based on experiences from Guam and Pohnpei and results of comparable projects there, we plan to call the product proposed here the “Digital Atlas of Yap.” It will be a counterpart of the intensively used and highly successful “Digital Atlas of Northern Guam” and "Digital Atlas of Southern Guam" created in several stages between 2009 and 2013, and a sister product of the "Digital Atlas of Pohnpei", which was developed by iREi and WERI in 2016-17 and is scheduled to go on-line on February 28, 2017. Selected screenshots from the Digital Atlas of Pohnpei are included with this application. The Digital Atlas of Yap 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 Yap. 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-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.