Saving the world one application at a time: Atlas of Tuna and Billfish Catches

This blog post covers some work we have done to support the FAO Fishery and Acqualture Department, specifically the FIGIS group with information dissemination about catches of Tuna and Billfish over the last 60 years globally

As stated on their website:

… the Atlas presents the global distribution of catches by gear from 1950 to 2010, at 5° latitude by 5° longitude resolution, of those tuna and tuna-like species for which this distribution is generally well known on the global scale. These species consist of the so-called principal market tunas and some billfishes.

Atlas of Tuna and Billfish catches website

Using Geoserver, OpenLayers and Ext-JSwe built for them a simplfied viewer that allow users to access dynamically their statistics and to map them by multiple dimensions:

  • by gears (one or more)
  • by species (one or more)
  • for a certain years’ range
  • for a certain quarters’ range
Moreover users can decide to view the following indicators:
  • Cumulative catches across years
  • Average catches across years 
  • Average catches across quarters
The selections made by users are reflected directly on the visualization combining data from various sources through the GeoServer; animations can be created across years as well as years’ quarters to show the evolution of the catches. The result can be seen here and in the pictures below.

Let’s take a look at the implementation.

Background maps are served via GeoWebCache, nothing too sophisticated there, while the maps are generated on the fly by GeoServer connected to the FAO corporate Oracle instance via SQL Views that are performing join and aggregations on the fly between tables containing live information about catches and tables containing ancillary information like species and gear types. In addition, users can print the current map (together with the eventual result of a request for info on the map), as shown here below,

or they can request to generate an animated GIF, leveraging on the WMS Animator work (see this page for additional info) using a specific panel shown below where multiple dimensions can be again controlled:

Here below the resulting animations is shown.

Let us now summarise a few points for this project:

  • background maps are served with GeoWebCache which is shared with all the others mapping applications in places withing the department
  • most of the data is stored inside the corporate instance of Oracle Spatial, demonstrating perfect integration of Open Source with COTS
  • extensive usage of CQL filters and SQL Parametric Views has been made to generate dynamic maps and animations
Last but not least, we believe it is worth to mention that this work was performed via our GeoSolutions Enterprise ServicesTherefore, if you’d like to know more about what we could achieve together, do not hesitate and get in touch with us!
The GeoSolutions team,