NOAA Shoreline Website

A Guide to National Shoreline Data and Terms

Prototype Global Shoreline Data

Purpose and Potential Applications: This data set is intended to replace the existing World Vector Shoreline with higher resolution satellite-derived data. Potential applications include cartographic representation and boundary determination.

Originator(s):The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)

Abstract: The Prototype Global Shoreline Data set (satellite derived high water line) in work at NGA has been acquired from orthorectified NASA, 2000 era, LANDSAT GeoCover (multispectral imagery). As the prototype effort progresses, NGA will begin compilation of a new version of the World Vector Shoreline.

Access: National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Scale(s): 1:75,000 and smaller

Coverage: Worldwide. There is no LANDSAT coverage of the polar regions, so coverage extends from about 60-degrees South latitude to 80-degrees North latitude. There are gaps throughout the data set because of cloud cover and in northern areas because of ice and snow cover, which impact about 10% of the overall data set.

Source Data: Orthorectified NASA, 2000 era, LANDSAT GeoCover (multispectral imagery)

Spatial Reference: Geographic coordinate system; Horizontal Datum – World Geodetic System (WGS 84)

Tidal Datum: High water line

Data Format: ESRI shapefiles. Shorelines are seamless polyline files can be downloaded by region.

Accuracy: Approximately 50 meters

Process Description: The research and development component of NGA, InnoVision Directorate, studied the best approach for acquiring shoreline data using LANDSAT 7 multispectral imagery and developed a technique using the Short-Wave Infra-Red (SWIR) bands to define the land–water interface. This new shoreline is an approximation of the high water line; it is NOT a mean high water line since the source data have not been tide-coordinated. As segments of the prototype version are accepted from the contractor, these segments are being made available in the interest of supporting outside users who may have immediate application for these higher-resolution data.

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