NowCOAST is a GIS-based Web mapping portal developed by the National Ocean Service’s (NOS) Coast Survey Development Laboratory that provides users with situational awareness of current and future environmental conditions for U.S. coastal areas. nowCOAST accomplishes this by integrating selected near-real-time data, satellite imagery, warnings, and forecasts of meteorological, oceanographic, and river conditions from NOAA’s Weather, Ocean, and Satellite Services, NOAA’s Research, other federal agencies, and regional ocean observing systems. nowCOAST makes the observations, imagery, warnings, and forecasts available to users via on-map display and geo-referenced hyperlinks. Coastal users can display nowCOAST products via its Web map viewer (http://nowcoast.noaa.gov) or by connecting to nowCOAST’s map service. Users can access nowCOAST’s map service directly from desktop GIS applications (e.g., ArcMAP and ArcGIS Explorer) and from ArcGIS Server-based or ArcIMS-based web mapping sites and overlay nowCOAST map layers with their own data layers. Recently, a nowCOAST Open Geospatial Consortium-compliant Web Map Service has been implemented to allow nonArc-based desktop GIS applications and web mapping software (e.g., MapServer) to access nowCOAST products. nowCOAST will be enhanced to support several collaborative projects including the Coastal and Inland Flood Observation and Warning project, the Environmental Response Management Application web mapping portal project, and the Southern California Weather and Hazards Viewer. nowCOAST uses Arc Internet Map Server, Arc Spatial Data Engine, ArcGIS Engine and an Oracle database. NowCOAST will be migrated to the ArcGIS Server platform during the coming year.


Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping

Publication Date


Journal or Conference Title

Coastal Geotools 2009



Conference Date

Mar 2 - Mar 5, 2009


U.S. Geological Survey

Document Type

Conference Proceeding