Designing a Geographical Information System in Support of the Surfrider Foundation’s Beachscape Program

Publication Date


Committee Chair

Tarek Rashed, Ph.D.

Committee Members

Karen K. Kemp, Ph.D.
Thad Tilton


The Surfrider Foundation (est. 1984) initiated the Beachscape Program (BP) in the Spring of 1999 for the purpose of collecting data concerning the coastal environment so that a baseline could be established from which changes over time might be better understood. The foundation is still in the early stages of using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to support the BP’s objectives, and help standardize and facilitate the processes of data collection, database management, and sharing of information among different foundation chapters and with the general public. This paper reports on the development of a geographic information system to organize and maintain spatial and nonspatial data pertaining to the objectives set by the BP: the creation of an Internet mapping site that provides a means to display the data: a customized mobile GIS application that facilitates field based data collection: and a custom tool that expedites sharing of information by allowing volunteers to request data from the system through electronic mail via the Internet mapping site. This paper then discusses the ways in which the proposed solution contributes to the BP and makes it more efficient and effective.

Full text is available at the University of Redlands


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