World Wide Fund For Nature Taps VoyagerODN to Support International Coastal Conservation Efforts

September 2018


After years of development and sourcing feedback, Voyager Search launched its open data network, VoyagerODN, in June of 2017. Built on Voyager’s award-winning technology, VoyagerODN enables anyone to conduct a single point of search across publicly available geospatial data – for free.

Early on in his career at Chaparral one of the IT Managers working in the GIS Department happened to meet with Voyager Search, thinking they might purchase the software to do exactly those things Morrison had wanted. To the manager’s – and Morrison’s – surprise, Voyager’s software could do much, much more.

Finding the right publicly available geospatial data can often be a time-consuming, stressful, and frustrating process. And, no one knows that better than the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

“Hosting and collecting GIS data online is one element, but people tend to forget that some effort is also needed to make that data accessible and searchable,” noted Aurélie Shapiro, remote sensing specialist at WWF-Germany.

With its mission to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on Earth, WWF has a lot of area to cover. Which means it must have access to various sources of data at all times. Data that is easy to manage, organize, and, most importantly, find. Conducting these types of complicated searches and managing the resulting data is exactly why VoyagerODN was created.

The Project

WWF is currently developing geo-portals for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to support Coastal conservation in West Africa. The project centralize spatial data on ecosystems, fisheries, threats, and socio-economic information into an interactive ArcGIS Online interface. Called GLOBIL, or the Global Observation and Biodiversity Information Portal, the project allows users to search, share, and collaborate on geospatial data and analyze information in interactive apps developed by WWF and the greater ArcGIS Online Community. GLOBIL provides a single platform for the monitoring and visualization of WWF’s work in priority places around the world.

So, WWF had an issue: how to find the most relevant data for its project in the fastest, most efficient way possible.

The Solution

VoyagerODN’s powerful capabilities are being used to search for any available spatial data covering the above-mentioned regions

The open data network allows WWF to search more widely and specifically for spatial data than, for example, Google or ArcGIS Online (which only returns what’s in AGOL, and not necessarily for a specific geographic location).

“With VoyagerODN, we can see what is actually online via web services or geoservers, view the metadata quickly, and then access that data defined by keywords as well as a spatial extent. VoyagerODN even returned results from portals that we hadn’t thought of. Results from FAO Geonetwork, a portal that is typically more difficult to search and navigate, came back using VoyagerODN, saving us both time and effort.”

The Results

VoyagerODN provided WWF the sophisticated capabilities it needed to search for specific geospatial data, and in doing so saved the organization tremendous amounts of time – and headaches. The open data network will also be instrumental in helping WWF make its online geospatial content more widely accessible to the public over time.

Up Next

As WWF grows its ArcGIS Online projects, the organization is considering using Voyager for similar projects where they need to quickly determine what spatial data is out there for a specific location or topic.

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