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National Coral Reef Institute Delivers Prototype Mapping Software

The National Coral Reef Institute (NCRI) at Nova Southeastern University (NSU), sponsored by National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, recently delivered a prototype of mapping software. The Hybrid Mapping Tool (HMT) software uses high-resolution satellite imagery in unison with new feature recognition algorithms to automatically delineate benthic habitats. NCRI worked closely with NCCOS and the Special Projects Office (SPO) to bring the package to this venue. The project is geared to support ongoing NOAA coral reef mapping efforts in U.S. territorial waters, particularly the Florida Keys. Presently, operators manually digitize features from satellite data; the HMT software seeks to provide a reproducible tool to complement the human intuition relied upon in the current method and enable faster feature digitization. The software is now being evaluated to determine if further refinement is essential. NCRI is a Congressionally-directed program that is funded through a grant by NCCOS and is a core component of NOAA

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