Remote Sensing of Coral Reefs at NASA: Overview of Integrated Collaborations, Projects, and Products
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Through a set of NASA-sponsored partnerships, and the efforts of numerous project partners, the quantity and detail of globally available information on coral reefs is being greatly expanded. The new accessibility of low cloud remote sensing data selected for reef mapping will also provide significant new opportunities for research and management applications. Perhaps most importantly, the integration of efforts of NASA scientists and university researchers with international non-government organizations facilitates the immediate incorporation of data and map products into analyses that will change the management of coral reefs. The availability of datasets for interactive mapping via the ReefBase interface, and for downloading of raw data provides an unprecedented opportunity for the global coral reef community to benefit from NASA data and technologies and to improve the management of reefs worldwide. At the upcoming meeting of the 2004 International Coral Reef Symposium a special Mini-symposium on "Producing, Distributing, and Analyzing Global Coral Reef Maps - the State of the Art" will examine all these major efforts for global coral reef mapping, the technologies and methods that will make these maps and underlying data available to the coral reef research and management communities, and the potential for global syntheses.