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The Grenadine Islands and the marine environment surrounding the islands were mapped over a five-year span. The project—Grenadines Marine Resource and Space-Use Information System (MarSIS)—involved merging local knowledge with existing scientific data into a geographic information system (GIS). Located in the Caribbean, the Grenadines share an international boundary between Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, creating numerous challenges for not only collecting data but sharing those data with the residents of the islands.

Project geospatial information was collected in a GIS, but Google Earth was used as a way to share the findings on the web and through a series of tutorials and workshops. Though project GIS shapefiles will be made available through the project website, Google Earth was used as a ready delivery tool because it is cross platform, easy to use, and free. Using aftermarket GIS extensions, shapefile layers were exported from ArcGIS into Keyhole Markup Language (KML) layers. Over 400 photographs and videos were geolocated in the project KML.

Once the Grenadines marine map was assembled as a KML project, we gave workshops on various islands. From user feedback following the first series of tutorials, we modified the KML by fixing problems, correcting mistaken information, and making the KML project file more understandable. When the project was finalized we put the KML on the MarSIS project web page and sent it as an attachment to the project email list. We traveled a second time to the Grenadine Islands to give another series of tutorials and workshops. We also created a video to help users navigate the project KML.

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