Alaska ShoreZone

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by Denis Dwyer, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. Denis Dwyer

    Denis Dwyer Paddler

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    I have been using a very useful website called Alaska ShoreZone to help plan kayaking trips in Alaskan waters.
    After searching West Coast Paddler posts I see that it has not been covered in these pages.
    The site is part of a government project to photograph every foot of the Alaskan shoreline to provide a baseline for monitoring changes and to survey natural resources.
    It also happens to be a great way to search for kayak campsites and get a look at Alaska's waterways.
    Photographs and videos are taken from a helicopter flying low above the shoreline producing high quality images that can be saved on your computer for future reference.
    The coordinates of each photo are also provided allowing the coordinates to be saved with the photo.
    It has a few quirks that can take some practice to work around but nothing too difficult.
    If there is any interest shown within these pages for using Alaska ShoreZone I can put together a little tutorial that could help in navigating the site.
    Here is the link to the site. Enjoy.
    https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/mapping/szflex/
     
  2. teleman73

    teleman73 Paddler

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    Dennis, I'm actually in the process of planning a large alaska trip right now, and have used the Shorezone project some, but have found it pretty frustrating to navigate so I would greatly appreciate a tutorial because I've always come away frustrated after using it, but it has so much good info I want to feel more competent with it.
     
  3. chodups

    chodups Paddler

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  4. Peter-CKM

    Peter-CKM Paddler

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  5. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    We have used this a lot, mainly the Columbia River shoreline, estuary primarily, and in Willapa Bay. Really helps a lot in the latter to identify nasty muddy shores, and upland campsites not discernable from the water.
     
  6. Denis Dwyer

    Denis Dwyer Paddler

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    ALASKA SHORE ZONE TUTORIAL

    Go to the Alaska ShoreZone page at https://alaskafisheries.noaa.gov/habitat/shorezone

    Read through the ShoreZone Tutorials - How To on the first page by clicking on the links

    To start using ShoreZone click on Interactive Imagery and Databases

    This is the page that you will use to view photos

    Bookmark this page to be able to return to it easily

    Select Images to Right then click Start

    A window opens with a map to the left and three boxes to the right

    Double click on the map or scroll to zoom in closely to the desired area

    Each blue dot on the map is a photo

    The red line is the video flightline

    Check the box on the bottom left by the camera icon

    Place the mouse pointer over a blue dot

    If a window opens that says Play Video From Here close it by clicking on the X

    If a window opens that says Play Photos From Here click on it

    Use the Play Forwards and Play Backwards buttons on the bottom of the screen to move along the flightline

    If you want to save pictures set up a photo file on your computer to download the pictures to with a catchy name like Alaska ShoreZone Photos

    Click on the floppy disc icon on the top left of the photo box

    A new window opens with your photo saved in your computer's photo file

    Re-name it at this point to something that makes sense to you

    It is a good idea to add the coordinates to the name

    The coordinates shown on the screen are from the point where your mouse is pointing

    Make sure to point the mouse at the spot from which the photo was taken to get the correct coordinates

    Important Note - If you try to resize any of the boxes on the right, and plan to download photos, the program will only allow you to download one photo and then it will seize up. You then have to close the program and restart it again and get back to where you left off. A time consuming process. I am in contact with the administrators of ShoreZone to try and correct this issue.

    For an example of Alaska ShoreZone photos saved in an online photo album, check out this one that I put together while planning for my upcoming kayaking trip in Southeast Alaska.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/115958351089161574921/AALONGDISTANCEVIEWSFROMALASKASHOREZONE?hl=en
     
  7. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Denis, I have got to check this out. Sounds way more powerful than the similar shoreline databases I know of for WA. Thanks to you, I discovered Oregon Shorezone. Freaking blows me away. Definitely a primo bunch of images.

    One hangup. Got a 404 error on that last link. Any idea why?
     
  8. Denis Dwyer

    Denis Dwyer Paddler

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  9. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    No. That is a secure login, I suspect. Likely only viewable by registered Picasa users. My ex had this problem. Had to scrabble around to make her photos viewable by all.
     
  10. Denis Dwyer

    Denis Dwyer Paddler

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    Dave
    Picasa will not allow me to alter the album sharing setting to Public for some reason.
    I'll continue trying, but Google is making changes to Picasa and that may be blocking the public sharing function.
     
  11. Philip.AK

    Philip.AK Paddler

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    I use the AK Shorezone resource a lot. The nice thing is that they always fly at a relatively low stage of the tide, so you can see the WHOLE beach. On more than one occasion, I've landed on a nice-looking beach to camp at high tide one evening only to discover a slippery minefield of kelpy boulders just beyond the gravel the next morning at low tide when I want to leave- an issue pretty much eliminated through the use of the website. So this is a superb resource for planning camp sites and good landing spots. It also just gives you a general feeling for what the coastline is like in intimate detail. The still photos also often show the hillsides behind the beach which I have used extensively here in Kodiak for planning my cross-island hikes to identify where access to the high country is possible. I've been at a few conferences where representatives from the AK Shorezone project have given talks, and they readily acknowledge that the site is often used by backcountry travelers for trip planning, although the site was intended for cataloging intertidal ecological communities for scientific purposes.
     
  12. Denis Dwyer

    Denis Dwyer Paddler

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    OK - Lets try this again.
    The link below should open up to a web album that I made months ago when it was possible to make public.
    It contains a few Alaska ShoreZone photos showing long distance views of Baranof Island.
    Although these are long distance views most photos are close up shots of the coastline at low tide.
    I saved these to get an overview of the coastline that I would be paddling.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/115958...elagoCoastlinesLongDistanceViews?noredirect=1