COINAtlantic’s Visualization of the OBIS Canada IPT

COINAtlantic has partnered with four organizations in Atlantic Canada to improve the accessibility of marine biological data. The data from these organizations is being prepared for harvesting by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System. The vehicle for making the data available to OBIS is the OBIS Canada Integrated Publishing Toolkit (IPT).

COINAtlantic has developed a tool that inspects the public entries in the IPT and generates an OGC compatible Web Mapping Service, a layer for each IPT resource, and a KML that provides basic metadata and a link to full EML metadata for each IPT resource.

The figure above depicts the COINAtlantic Search Utility ( showing one of the data sets from the OBIS Canada Integrated Publishing Toolkit: FRB Bottom fauna from Saint John Harbour.

A custom view of Atlantic Canada's marine species distribution can be accessed at: The application will open with selected layers from the IPT relating to Atlantic Canada and the Project partners. Use the search function to add additional layers.

Advantages to COINAtlantic’s Visualization

- Allows for immediate access once a resource is made public on the IPT.
- Dynamic web mapping service, refreshes daily.
- Full Darwin Core data set is downloadable via the metadata link.
- Not limited to marine taxa.
- Facilitates QC: visualize early and often.
- Enables integration with other data sets, and any GIS software.
- The tool is fully based on Open Source software and compatible with OGC standards.

Directions for viewing the OBIS Canada IPT Resources through the COINAtlantic Search Utility

- open your Chrome browser

- go to

- in the right "Map Layers" panel, OBIS Canada IPT layers are those with the text "IPT OBIS Canada" in their names.

- to add other OBIS Canada IPT resource layers, click the "ADD WMS Layer" button at the bottom of the "Map Layers" panel.

- a new window should open titled "Add Remote WMS Layers"

- in that new window, click on the area with the text "Select or input a server address (URL)" and paste the following:


- click the "Connect" button

- expand the results (click on arrow to the left of the text "OBIS Canada's IPT WMS"), so you should see a list of all OBIS Canada IPT resources (WMS layers)

- activate one layer by clicking in the checkbox to the left of a layer (the description and a small map preview should appear)

- click on the "Add layer" button in the bottom right of that window

- click "Close" in the bottom right "Add Remote WMS Layers" window

- your new IPT layer should be visible in your map in the CSU (you may have to turn other layers off, to see your new layer)

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