Friday, April 13, 2007

Oceanic Races Using GIS Technology

Races Across the Oceans Using GIS and GPS Technology

GIS and technologies like GPS are being used to allow races across the ocean to become spectator sports where fans can follow the action of the race is it occurs via the Internet. Two such races are the Transat Monotype en Solitaire and The Great Turtle Race.

The French Transat Monotype en Solitaire is a transoceanic yacht race that travels from southern France to Guadeloupe in the French West Indies. The 3,436-thousand mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean began on March 25. Visit the website for the race at and click under "Cartographie" to check the progress of the race, get details about each boat and skipper, and check wind speeds.

The 14-day Great Turtle Race begins on April 16. This race features leatherback turtles outfitted with satellite tags to track their progress from Playa Grande, Costa Rica to their feeding grounds near the Galapagos Islands. This race draws attention to the plight of leatherback turtles: "90 percent of the leatherbacks have vanished from the Pacific Ocean, victims of human pressures." Visit the website at to choose a turtle to cheer on during the "race." The site features beautiful photography, lesson plans for teachers, and a chance to donate to help the leatherbacks' survival.

Now thanks to GIS and GPS technology fans of races on the ocean can cheer on the racers beyond the beach.

Visit the Geospatial Center & Map Collection on the second floor of Bracken Library to view a map about the leatherback turtles in conjunction with the Earth Day displays.

No comments: