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User's Guide

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1. Menu Bar

The Data Atlas employs the six themes that were used in the National Ocean Service 1985 Gulf Atlas; Physical, Biotic, Living Marine Resources; Socioeconomic Conditions; Environmental Quality; and Jurisdictions. By selecting one of these themes along the top of the map, you can access the datasets listed within a popup menu. Clicking on any one of these datasets will cause the map to refresh with the selected data displayed and details about the data itself displayed in this window.


Please Note: To reset the map to its original settings, click on the reset button under the Basemap category.

2. Zoom

Zoom controls the zoom level of the map. Click the + to zoom in. Click the - to zoom out.

3. Base Layer and Overlays

Base Layer allows you to choose from the radio buttons which map you would like to display as your base map. Overlays lets you select additional overlay maps.

4. Description

Description is the accompanying text written by the data provider, the subject matter expert, which explains the product, i.e., the data plate in context to its significance in the Gulf, the inter-relationship with other observations included in the atlas, and the plate's value in describing the characteristics of the Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem and infrastructure.


Please Note: The description has been peer reviewed by members of the Atlas Executive Steering Committee and selected scientists. A citation for users to reference the text and/or plate is provided.

5. Legend

The Legend is an explanatory list of the symbols used on the atlas plates.

6. More Information

The More Information selection provides the atlas user the associated metadata links for the individual plates selected (metadata is defined as data providing information about one or more aspects of the plate); the selection also provides access to the Web Mapping Service (WMS) which allows the atlas user to import the mapping layer (the plate) into the user's desktop or Internet mapping application of choice; lastly, more information provides the user access to download the data used in the analysis to develop the product plate.

7. Set Opacity

Use the - and + buttons to set the opacity (as a percentage) for the layer.