Ocean Biogeographic Information System USA

Ocean Biogeographic Information System USA

Lead Image: A map of the world’s ocean showing target areas for biogeography of chemosynthetic ecosystems research. Area "A" (in pink) includes the Equatorial Atlantic Belt region, extending from the seeps off Costa Rica, through the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, and across the Atlantic to western Africa. Image courtesy of the ChEss Programme.

The Ocean Biogeographic Information System USA (OBIS-USA), a program of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Core Science Analytics and Synthesis (CSAS), is the US national node of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). Meant to serve research and natural resource management needs, OBIS-USA brings together marine biological occurrence data in a standard format, with metadata, web-based discovery and download, and web service access for users and applications.

Data sources are US government (including Federal, State and local) agencies, academic, and non-governmental organizations. The data represent species name, location and date, plus additional detail as available. OBIS-USA partners with several federal agencies to play a role in the full life cycle of marine data, from origination, through discovery, dissemination and applications, to archiving at National Ocean Data Center.

OBIS-USA goes beyond the limits traditionally encountered in biodiversity data. It configures the data and web services to enable integration with other data types, such as physical oceanography, water chemistry, climate, and other types. It can integrate application-critical details such as absence, abundance, effort, method, and tracking. Over time, OBIS-USA aims to further identify and innovate yet more categories of important biological observations and details.

For a more in-depth description of OBIS-USA see the OBIS-USA FGDC metadata record.

Partners and Affliates




Draggan, S. (2012). Ocean Biogeographic Information System USA. Retrieved from