Changes for the Ocean Basemap

Since the beginning, the Ocean Basemap team has been dedicated to providing a cartographically beautiful basemap for the ocean that is easy for users to include in their maps and apps. Thank you for all of your compliments – the team is proud of the basemap and is excited for some big changes in the Ocean Basemap.

The next release features a major change to the Ocean Basemap’s structure.  The Ocean Basemap now contains two feature services in the map. The first feature service consists of the baselayer with the hydrographic and terrestrial cartography.  The second feature service contains the reference information and labels, such as soundings, subsurface feature names, and administrative boundaries.  This change allows users to create maps and apps with or without the standard annotation.  Users won’t have to worry about downloading two individual services if they want to continue to use the basemap’s annotation.  Since the reference layer will remain bundled with the base layer, it simply gives users the opportunity to turn off the reference layer. Until the official updates are published on ArcGIS On-line, please check out a preview here: New Ocean Basemap – Beta Version.  Once the official version is published, the beta version will be removed.  In addition, the previous version of the Ocean Basemap will be supported until the end of 2014.

In addition to the changes in the Ocean Basemap’s structure, the Ocean Basemap continues to add bathymetry data contributions from the community!  In particular, the Ocean Basemap team is very excited to feature some outstanding work by New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA).  NIWA recently contributed high-resolution data covering the Cook Strait to the Ocean Basemap.  The Cook Strait, which lies between the North and South Islands of New Zealand, is highly active tectonically and has some of the most interesting current patterns in the world.  The Ocean Basemap team is honored to have the opportunity to feature NIWA’s outstanding survey work.

While looking at the South Pacific, check out the data that the University of Hawaii’s School of Ocean Engineering, Science and Technology contributed.  Thanks to them, the Ocean Basemap now contains high resolution data for the Hawaiian Islands, which is of interest to scientists and surfers alike.  If you have bathymetry data that you would like to share on the Ocean Basemap, please email!

Once again, the Ocean Basemap team would like to thank all of our users for their feedback and compliments on the Ocean Basemap.  The team values your opinion – please contact the team at and let the team know what you think!

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