92nd American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting (January 22-26, 2012)

Tuesday, 24 January 2012: 2:15 PM
Exploring Using GIS, Mapping, and Social Media to Gather Feedback on the Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (SIWO)
Room 356 (New Orleans Convention Center )
Tiffany C. Vance, San Francisco State University - NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service, Seattle, WA; and S. E. Moore, J. E. Overland, V. Metcalf, H. Eicken, and G. L. Hufford

The Sea Ice for Walrus Outlook (SIWO), an activity of the SEARCH Sea Ice Outlook, is a resource for Alaska Native subsistence hunters, coastal communities, and others interested in sea ice, weather and walrus. The 2011 SIWO was updated weekly from the beginning of April through the end of June with information on sea ice and wind conditions relevant to walrus in the Northern Bering Sea and southern Chukchi Sea regions of Alaska.

This talk will describe a project in 2011 to create local maps based upon the SIWO datasets for walrus hunters in the Bering Strait Region. A geographic information system (GIS) was used to combine data layers to produce a map customized for the needs of the hunters. In an effort to make the map an interactive tool, methods for enabling the local residents to annotate the map and send the results back to the project team were explored. Preliminary efforts to use interactive methods such as web mapping and web-based annotation were unsuccessful. Revised tools using simplified maps emailed or fax'd to communities did not garner as much response as we had hoped for. We are now exploring harvesting information from resources such as Twitter tweets and FaceBook pages as way to gather feedback and qualitative and quantitative scientific data. Challenges such as limited Internet bandwidth, the best methods for annotating the maps, and choosing the optimal spatial and temporal scales were anticipated and our preliminary solutions will be discussed.

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