View a copy of the Statement of work for the Gap Analysis

Scope of work - Gap Analysis

The state of Florida has already made great progress in compiling coastal and marine geospatial data through the GAME and Gulf Geospatial Assessment of Marine Ecosystems (GAME) projects. GAME staff will continue and expand GAME's data compilation efforts in Florida and the adjacent waters of the Gulf of Mexico. GAME staff will also assist the other state partners in their efforts to compile data through maintenance of the online GAME survey tool and Catalog.

Geospatial is a term widely used to describe the combination of spatial software and analytical methods.

Since mid-2007, Gulf GAME has focused on identifying and assessing Gulf habitat data sources in spatial (or specific spaces), tabular (tables or spreadsheets of information), and literature form. This effort has included conducting online data searches, filling in the GAME survey with information provided by stakeholders from one of the Gulf states (Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana or Texas), identifying readily available Geographic Information System (GIS) and tabular data sets, and developing active links to other existing archives as well as near-real-time data streams.

A data set is a collection of data with a common theme.

As of November 2007, some 1,038 GAME metadata (information about data) records for Florida were given to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC) for upload into Metadata Enterprise Resource Management (MERMAid). These records will soon be available through the Ecowatch portal. Following is a list of organizations providing information: Atlantic and Rapid Reef Assessment, Broward County, Costal Planning and Engineering, Inc., Florida Department of Health, Florida Geological Survey, Florida International University, Florida State University, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, Manatee County, three NOAA organizations including the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory, the Coastal Services Center, and the National Marine Fisheries Service, Reef Environmental Education Foundation, Reef Relief, Roffer's Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service, Inc., Sarasota County, Southwest Florida Water Management District, St Lucie County, The International Seakeepers Society, University of Florida, the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of South Florida, URS corporation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, U.S. Geological Survey's Woods Hole, and Volusia County.


The Gulf GAME staff will conduct a qualitative (or data grouped by a similar theme) gap analysis of geospatial data compiled from all the Gulf states. The qualitative gap analysis will show where there is no information. They will also design and implement an in-depth, quantitative (or data that can be measured) gap analysis of Florida data that will serve as a pilot project for conducting gap analyses in other states. The quantitative gap analysis will show if the information available is sufficient to conduct the necessary investigation needed for resource management decisions. Gulf GAME staff is currently funded to identify data gaps throughout the Gulf as they relate to seagrass, a critical information need identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The gap analysis proposed here will address all the core habitat data layers.

YEAR ONE: Produce and update gap analysis for Florida

Gulf GAME will acquire available Geographic Information Systems (GIS)-ready information in Florida and produce footprints for the gap analysis. Information already found in the GAME catalog is believed to represent only a portion of the information that exists for the state. Therefore, a concentrated effort will be made to find additional datasets of interest. All readily available datasets will be converted into grid format using the Minerals Management Service (MMS) Multipurpose Marine Cadastre (MMC) and represented in map form. MMC serves as a grid-base information system to record rights, responsibilities, and restrictions. In addition to tying information such as managed area boundaries, cable right-of-way, and aquaculture lease areas to uniquely numbered grid cells, the MMC also records information describing benthic habitat, or habitat on the sea floor, substrate composition, and even location of research monitoring activities.

A well-maintained MMC provides valuable information to decision makers who have to address competing interests across marine space.

Presence or absence maps will be produced for all GAME data classes (physical, geological, biological, chemical, and human-use) and will be grouped for each GAME data class and core habitat data layers.

YEAR TWO: Continue and update the Florida quantitative gap analysis and conduct qualitative gap analyses for other Gulf states

During the second year, GAME Staff will continue to acquire information and update the quantitative Florida gap analysis as in the first year. Additionally, GAME Staff will create a gap analysis report for each of the remaining Gulf states based on information stored in the Gulf GAME Catalog.

Information found in metadata (or information about a dataset) records (place keywords) will be used to create buffered data footprints. These footprints, though not representing the actual data footprints, will serve as a visual representation of the report. Data gap reports will contain a description of data organized by GAME classes plus appendices with maps. Maps will show the presence or absence of information as well as how much information is located in specific areas.

YEAR THREE: Complete the Florida quantitative gap analysis and update qualitative gap analyses for the other Gulf states

GAME Staff will continue to acquire information for the gap analysis of Florida as in both the first year and the second year and conduct the final gap analysis. Through rigorous examination, GAME Staff will characterize each of the core data sets by age, density, quality, usability, and spatial resolution. Using these characteristics, GAME Staff will develop a ranking system.

The datasets will then be assigned a cumulative score that will be the basis for the gap analysis map. Higher scores will represent areas that have recent and higher spatial resolution or multiple datasets. However, an exception would be made if a critical habitat was only mapped with older, lower spatial resolution data. This analysis will provide the basis for ecological assessment of data gaps.

Also, during the third year, the qualitative gap analysis for the Gulf states other than Florida will be updated.

FWC Facts:
Horseshoe crabs do not bite or sting. Despite the ferocious look of the tail, it is not used as a weapon, but to right themselves if they are flipped over by a wave.

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