Stay up to date on news and features about aquatic habitat mapping with BioBase
BioBase is a cloud platform for the automated mapping of aquatic habitats (lakes, rivers, ponds, coasts). Standard algorithms process sonar datafiles (EcoSound) and high resolution satellite imagery (EcoSat). Depth and vegetation maps and data reports are rapidly created and stored in a private cloud account for analysis, and sharing. This blog highlights a range of internal and external research, frequently asked questions, feature descriptions and highlights, tips and tricks, and photo galleries.
Given the disdain for the word “weed,” it’s not surprising that seaweed gets such little respect in most developed human cultures. But, we are finding seaweed and its rooted cousin seagrass hold immeasurable value for the future of humankind. Time to get to work mapping it!
Seagrasses are considered vascular plants and have roots, stems, leaves, and flowers. According to a report from the United Nations in 2020, there are more than 70 species across the globe covering over 300,000 km2 (which is likely a vast underestimate) making them one of the most widespread coastal habitats.
C-MAP is excited to announce the launch a new map layer for Fisheries and Coastal researchers derived from side-scan sonar.
The ultrasound-like high definition imagery of new generation Lowrance side-scan transducers (e.g., Active Imaging 3in1 and Active Imaging HD) can now be processed in BioBase and viewed with other traditional habitat data layers (e.g., depth, vegetation density, and bottom hardness). The Side-scan channel is already included in .sl2 and .sl3 files if you have a compatible transducer* so one file gives you all four BioBase Layers! Side-scan mosaics from off-the-shelf sonar has long been a valuable tool for Fisheries researchers interested in identifying and protecting important habitats and has been the source of several professional research symposia and publications. The automated processing of BioBase has removed the labor-intensive need for manually mosaicking side-scan screenshots from Sonar units or complicated calibration of images in other software packages. BioBase automates this process and creates a high definition image with no user input to the processing. If you create a nice scan on the water, BioBase will reproduce it and make it available to you to analyze with other layers and identify important habitats.
In an earlier blog, we discussed how you could feed positions in from a 3rd party GPS or GNSS antenna into Lowrance HDS and thus into BioBase if you already had another higher end antennae or if the survey required a certain guaranteed level of accuracy. We recently connected with Geologist and BioBase super user Rob Baker CPG, PG from RMBAKER LLC and he shared with us his experiences networking positions via an older, yet more widespread protocol called NMEA0183. Mr. Baker shares some useful insights and justification for why networking a third pary antennae through NMEA0183 may be a good way to go for certain bathymetric survey projects.
Dr. Andrew Z Skibo, PhD CLM (Certified Lake Manager) of Amaruq Environmental Services sat down with the BioBase team to give us some insight on how BioBase’s EcoSound product has become a crucial tool for his work in the Rocky Mountain Region. Dr. Skibo is the president and founder of Amaruq Environmental Services which started in 2015 with two clients in Alaska. Looking for an Alaskan name he chose the Yu’Pik mythological king of wolves, the Amaruq. When a hunter went out alone at night and didn’t return it is said the Amaruq was the reason why, one of the reasons he chose the name was to stay humble and have a reminder “he would not get anywhere without a good network behind him.” After branching out to Colorado, Wyoming and Montana he became a major player in the environmental services industry throughout Alaska and the Rocky Mountain Region. As the president and founder, everything in the company is handled by Skibo from field work and sampling to surveying and contracts.
Blake Anderson is the harbormaster at the Santa Cruz Harbor in California. As harbormaster he oversees all the operations of the harbor, harbor patrol staff, which includes search and rescue, law enforcement and public safety. He also oversees administration of about 1000 boat slips and day to day operations of the harbor. 6 years ago, Blake was faced with the challenge of rapidly mapping the constant shifting sand shoals in the harbor and turned his attention to BioBase as a potentially rapid mapping system
What kind of sonar hardware should I buy for BioBase Mapping is the most common question we are asked. Admittedly, continual change in technology, products, and features can be intimidating and sometimes confusing. With this blog, we focus on what you need to know to get started with BioBase
For this Professional Spotlight the BioBase team sat down with a biologist at a power plant. They use BioBase to evaluate risk of cooling water intake blockage from aquatic vegetation. This is one of many methods they use ensure abundant cooling water is available for the redundant intake systems. In 2012, invasive zebra mussels invaded the system and paved the way for aquatic vegetation by clearing the water. They map aquatic vegetation during the growing season and use the polygon tool to measure percent area covered and biovolume in the areas of interest. Aquatic vegetation management recommendations are based on this data. Before BioBase they took samples using a rake to determine what species were present and estimate the total biovolume. Now using BioBase they can easily measure biovolume at location with ease.
When asked why they chose to use BioBase they responded, “the value, there are a lot of options out there, most are expensive, but BioBase is not.” Even at a low cost “it still produces very reliable data, BioBase is a high value product.”
Too commonly we get files uploaded from customers that had either no sonar information or no GPS location in the file. This is typically due to some unit malfunction or user oversight of a disabled setting. If there is no GPS position or no sonar depth in the file, not surprisingly BioBase cannot create a map. Here we show some of the most common troubleshooting tips and tricks that will help you diagnose common issues with newer generation Lowrance and get you back to BioBasing on the water.
Archiving trips is crucial to data management on the BioBase platform, it also allows users the ability to remove old trips from their dashboard and to free up storage. The archive feature is a powerful tool for users who manage many waterbodies and have multiple sets of trips on the same waterbody.
To archive trips, first open the waterbody you want to archive trips on and locate the trip you want to archive.
Once you click archive trip, a dialog box will pop up making sure you understand all processed layers and information will be archived. You must click “OK” in order to proceed with the archive.
Once you clicked “OK” to archive the trip, the trip should be removed from your dashboard. If that was the only trip or the last trip on the waterbody, the waterbody should also be removed from your dashboard.
The archived trips dashboard will look just like your normal dashboard but contains all your archived trips. To get back to your normal dashboard you just need to click dashboard in the upper right hand corner.
In order to restore archived trips back to your dashboard. Click the trip you want to unarchive and instead of “analyze/edit” the button should say “restore”. After clicking the restore button the trip will be reprocessed and appear on your dashboard shortly. For more information on Archiving trips click the “ask the experts” button or reach out to us by email.
For more Tips and Tricks see the Support Resources page on BioBasemaps.com or click – Support Resources
The automated mapping platform, BioBase (www.biobasemaps.com) is a central pillar of Navico’s Sustainability Mission Navico’s Sustainability Page and we offer it for free to Environmental, Government, and Research Agencies. For a free trial or if you think you may qualify for a free EcoSound Habitat Plus Subscription – BioBase Plans
Eli Kersh started a consulting firm, e-limnology, in 2016 and used it to provide services for customers as a side business where his current employer had gaps. He primarily provided mapping for customers and his business took off. Eventually he found a niche and e-limnology transformed into its current form Lake Tech. Lake Tech is on the forefront of new products and technologies for lake management. He is always trying to have a practical approach to lake management and rely heavily on new technologies that demonstrate value and ultimately simplifies lake management to make it more accessible to the public.