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Mission Blue is uniting a global coalition to inspire an upwelling of public awareness, access and support for a worldwide network of marine protected areas – Hope Spots. The organization has designated 135 Hope Spots around the world – rich marine ecosystems that could form the seeds of tomorrow’s healthy ocean if adequately protected. Mission Blue has a simple system that is working for now and they are excited to expand capabilities into 2021.

Mission Blue began storing all of the program data on ArcGIS Online a little over a year ago and developed a web map (https://mission-blue.org/hope-spots/) that displays Hope Spots along with links to story maps and detailed descriptions. They sought a volunteer to provide them with advanced GIS support to help them resolve technical issues and enhance their ArcGIS Online presence. Laura Delle Palme, a GISCorps volunteer, was selected for this project.

Laura Delle Palme assisted Mission Blue staff with streamlining their current ArcGIS Online data collection process by updating their data schemas, merging datasets and improving their Survey123 form used to collect information on nominated Hope Spots from nominators. There was also a need for quick exports of the nominated Hope Spot data so a Survey123 report template was created for quick formatted export of nominated Hope Spots for council to review during the approval process. 

Laura worked closely with Mission Blue staff to create the Hope Spot Information Platform (HSIP) which consists of a public dashboard and an internal Hub Site. The public dashboard was created using ArcGIS Experience builder and enables the public to explore the Hope Spots in both 2D and 3D map views and view related interactive Storymaps and champion contact information.

In addition, an ArcGIS Online Hub site was created to act as a central hub for staff and council to view and explore Hope Spot related information. To assist with editing and updating the Hope Spot data, Laura also developed two editing apps using ArcGIS Online for staff to update and edit nominated and launched Hope Spots more efficiently. These apps were also embedded on the Hub site on pages viewable by staff with editing rights for quick access.

Finally, Laura provided user training on ArcGIS Online best practices, creating and updating Survey123 forms, as well as editing data using web apps. Training materials including user guides and on frequently used ArcGIS Online applications were embedded into the Internal Hub Site for quick access by Mission Blue staff to enable them to manage the data and apps moving forward.

Now that the Hope Spot datasets have been improved and compiled internally on the Hope Spot Hub, it makes accessing data much easier and more accessible to Mission Blue staff and council. This data and Hub site will act as a strong foundation as Mission Blue continues to improve and expand their Hope Spot datasets and ArcGIS Online presence.

Along with these internal improvements, sharing the unique stories of these locations to the public is vital to igniting support for this global network of Hope Spots. The newly developed pubic dashboard can be used to be help Mission Blue to bring the ocean to their global audience in a way that is approachable but is also fun and engaging. The contact directory widget is especially significant and can be used to improve communication between the Hope Spot Champions and the public.

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