See sampled values of the oceanographic variables online

To see the sampled oceanographic data online (on Advanced Search, Dataset Page or Species Page),

  1. Switch to the points layer.
  2. Choose [identify] in the toolbar.
  3. Click the observation point on the map you are interested in.
  4. In the panel below the map displays the information on the point including the Environment section where you can see SST, SSH, CHL and bathymetry.
    See sampled values online


Download sampled values and utilize them

The oceanographic data sampled are included in the downloaded shapefile and CSV file for both species and datasets. The data are written in a compact string format in the "oceano" field and you will need to parse them to utilize individual values.


  1. Add an attribute field to the shapefile whose type is double and precision and scale should be at least 8 and 3, respectively.
  2. In ArcToolBox, go to [Data Management Tools]-[Fields]-[Calculate Field].
  3. In [Expression], enter the following expression.
    parse_oceano(!OCEANO!, "SST_Y")

    Replace SST_Y to the appropriate layer type and averaging period (e.g. CHL_M). Do not change '!OCEANO!'.
  4. Choose Python for [Expression Type].
  5. Enter the following Python script into [Code Block].
    def parse_oceano(oceano, env_type):
    dist_oceano = eval("{" + oceano + "}")
    value = dist_oceano[env_type] if dist_oceano.has_key(env_type) else 9999
    return value
  6. Run the tool.

    Parse oceano with Calculate Field tool

  7. When calculation is done, you will see the newly added field (e.g. [SST_Y]) in the attribute table filled with the environmental variable (in this case, yearly sea surface temperature) parsed out from [oceano] field.



  1. Open the CSV file with Excel.
  2. Make sure "oceano" column exists (usually in Column W).
  3. In a new columnm, say, Column AG, enter the data type name (e.g. SST_Y) in the first row (e.g. AG1).
  4. In the second cell (e.g. AG2), enter the following formula. The link below opens a new window/tab that contains the fomula, so you can easily copy and paste it into the cell.


  5. If you want to get more data types, enter the data type names in the consective cells and copy the formula entered in first cell (AG1).
  6. Copy the formula all the way down to the last row.
    Parse oceano in Excel sheet

Get simple statistics of oceanographic variables

You can see a graph of the temporal change of the sampled oceanographic data online.

  1. Make sure your current map shows what you are looking into (e.g. species, datasets and/or region of interest ).
  2. Click [Oceanographic variables] button at the bottom of the window.
  3. You can change the temporal scale by "zooming in.out"..
  4. Select a oceanographic variable from the dropdown menu at the upper left of the sub window. Sea surface temperature, sea surface height, chlorophyll and Bathymetry available.
  5. Mouse over the dot in the graph to get the details.

    Graphs of oceano variables


Q. Did the sampled oceanographic data come from in-situ measurements?
No. The oceanographic data were sampled from satellite images. 
Q. What data/layers did you use to sample the environment values?
 The data/layer description is found in the help for the Environment panel.
Q. Why do some points have SST, SSH and chlorophyll while others have SST only?
 What data are sampled is determined by the date of the observation. Due to the varying availability of the data, older observations will have fewer data sampled. For example, an observation made in 1990 will have SST sampled but no chlorophyll because chlorophyll data are available since 1997.
Q. I don't see oceanographic data in newer observations. What is the status?
Currently, we have oceanographic data up to 2010. Thus, observations newer than 2010 do not have oceanographic data sampled. We have been working to update the oceanographic data in the OBIS-SEAMAP database.