Wednesday, February 24, 2010

World Protected Areas on Google Maps


This beta release of ProtectedPlanet is the latest initiative of the World Database on Protected Areas. ProtectedPlanet lets you view the world's protected areas on one Google Map.

If you click on one of the mapped protected areas then you are taken to a close-up of the selected area, which includes photographs, points of interest in the area and links to related protected areas. Each close-up view also includes links to a Google Map of the area from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (see below).

Global Biodiversity Information Facility

The Global Biodiversity Information Facility is an international organisation that is working to make the world's biodiversity data available anywhere in the world. The GBIF are using Google Maps to allow users to search the world database of biodiversity.

Selecting an area on the map will allow you to view that area's animal and plant species. If you click on the 'view species' button a table will load showing a breakdown of the species and even let you view photographs of the individual animals.

World Database on Marine Protected Areas

Did you know that only 0.7 of the world's oceans are protected? The WDPA-Marine wants to provide the most comprehensive set of marine protected areas (MPAs) data available. Part of this effort involves a very cool Google Maps mashup that provides information about the less that 1% of protected ocean.

The map uses shaded polygons to highlight protected ocean areas. For each protected area it is possible to select a number of layers showing coral, mangrove, seagrass and saltmarsh locations. The map also includes layers to display Wikipedia articles, photographs and videos of the selected protected area.

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