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photo of exposed coral colonies


Software Installation and Requirements
- Screen Resolution
- Internet Browsing Software
- Starting the CD-ROM
- ArcGIS
- Adobe® Acrobat® PDF Reader
- ZIP/UNZIP Software
Related Products
Contact Information




This Web page provides general operating instructions for viewing the Web site, using and accessing the associated software, data, and maps, and obtaining additional information regarding this project. The information on this Web site is offered in HTML format, so Internet browsing software is necessary for viewing the Web site text (see Software Installation and Requirements below for details).

This Web site provides maps in Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) and geospatial data in Environmental Systems Research Institute's (ESRI) Shapefile format for Guam's coastal areas and includes information about benthic habitat, marine preserve boundaries, and other important coastal features. The data and maps were developed using ESRI's ArcGIS 8.3 and 9.0 software, while the Web site layout, text, and interactive images were created using Macromedia Dreamweaver MX and Fireworks MX software.

DISCLAIMER: The Guam Coastal Atlas was subject to a limited internal review with representatives from the University of Guam Marine Laboratory and the Guam Coastal Management Program before publication. Although the benthic habitat data provided with this product were derived in part from benthic habitat data originally developed by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) Biogeography Team, it was not subject to review by NOAA. The mention of trade names or commercial products within this product does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for their use.

IMPORTANT: The maps and digital spatial data contained in this atlas are not intended for navigational purposes


Software Installation and Requirements

To receive the full benefit of this Web site, a number of different software packages are necessary. The following options are available for using the information in this Web site:


Screen Resolution

The content of this Web site is best viewed at a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or greater.


Internet Browsing Software

A connection to the internet is required for viewing the contents of this Web site. This Web site was tested with Internet Explorer 6.0, Mozilla Firefox 1.0, and Netscape 8.0. The Web site performs best with Mozilla Firefox, although only minor superficial discrepancies occur with the other browsers tested. Most computer operation systems come with Internet browsing software, but it may be necessary to obtain the most recent version of the software. Updated versions of several Internet browsing software applications can be dowloaded for free from the following Web sites:

Microsoft Internet Explorer Web site located at

Netscape Communicator Web site located at

Mozilla Firefox Web site located at



The GIS data available on this Web site are in ESRI's Shapefile format and can be viewed and edited using ESRI's ArcView® 3.x, ArcGIS® 8.x, and ArcGIS® 9.x GIS software. If you do not have a license for these software applications, a lightweight GIS data viewer created by ESRI called ArcExplorer can be downloaded for free from This software supports the display and querying of spatial data but does not provide map layout or data editing functions.

Note about Shapefiles, Layer files, and metadata: The shapefiles are available in .zip format for quicker, easier download. The zipped shapefiles contain a .dbf, .sbn, .sbx, .shp, .shx., .xml, .prj, and a .lyr file. All of these files must be extracted to the same folder in order to maintain the integrity of the shapefile. All shapefiles are projected into the Universal Transverse Mercator System (Zone 55N) and use the WGS 84 datum. Please refer to the metadata associated with each shapefile for more detailed information about the shapefiles. The metadata file (.xml) inherent in each shapefile can be accessed through ESRI's ArcCatalog application. A metadata file in HTML format can also be downloaded separately below. A Layer (.lyr) file for the benthic habitat data is included with the zipped benthic habitat data shapefile for those who wish to use the symbology that appears in the maps provided with on this Web site.


Adobe® Acrobat® PDF Reader

The maps are offered in portable document format (PDF) and are located on the Interactive Map Selection and Map List pages. Adobe® Acrobat Reader® is free software that allows you to view, navigate within, and print PDF files across major computing platforms. The PDF documents on this Web site are best viewed using the latest version of Adobe® Acrobat Reader®. To download the latest version of Adobe® Acrobat Reader®, visit


ZIP/UNZIP Software

To allow the convenient download of ESRI Shapefiles, the data sets have been compressed using Windows XP's folder compression features. These files can be extracted using Windows XP by right-clicking on the compressed folder and selecting Extract All. If you do not use Windows XP, evaluation versions of several software applications are available for free download (but please note that these will only work for a limited time).

PKWARE® PKZIP® softwarelocated at

WinZip® software located at

Several other file compression/extraction software applications are available as shareware and do not expire after a limited time:

CAM UnZip® software located at

EasyZip® software located at

JustZIPit® software located at


Related Products

In addition to the Guam Coastal Atlas Web site, a printed version and a CD-ROM version are also available. The printed product contains all the maps available on the Web site, including descriptions of available spatial data sets. The Guam Coastal Atlas CD-ROM contains the maps and most of the spatial data available on the Web site.



The Guam Coastal Atlas was developed by David R. Burdick, the 2004 - 2006 NOAA Pacific Islands Assistant for Guam, under the supervision of Dr. Terry Donaldson, the Principal Investigator, and Barry D. Smith, Director of the University of Guam Marine Laboratory. This product was prepared under award CRI-GU-00 from the U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration U.S. Department of Commerce. A total of $55,000 was awarded to the recipients for the development of the Guam Coastal Atlas. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Interior, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or the Department of Commerce. Further support and contributions for the Guam Coastal Atlas project were provided by several agencies/organizations and individuals, including:

- University of Guam Marine Laboratory
- Guam Coastal Management Program
- Guam Department of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources, Guam Department of Agriculture
- NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Biogeography Team
- NOAA Coastal Services Center
- NOAA Pacific Services Center

Photo credits: All photos on the Guam Coastal Atlas Web site, including those used in the cover montage, were taken by Dave Burdick unless otherwise stated.



Burdick, David R. 2006. Guam Coastal Atlas Web Site. University of Guam Marine Laboratory, Multimedia Publication No. 4. URL:



NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS). 2005. Atlas of the Shallow-Water Benthic Habitats of American Samoa, Guam, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands. NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 8, Biogeography Team. Silver Spring, MD. 126 pp.

NOAA Biogeography Program Web site:

Randall, R. H. and L.G. Eldredge. 1976. Atlas of the Reefs and Beaches of Guam. University of Guam Marine Laboratory, Mangilao, Guam, 191 pp.


Contact Information

If you have any questions, comments, or wish to receive technical assistance, please contact the following institutions/agencies:

University of Guam Marine Laboratory
UOG Station
Mangilao, GU 96923 USA
Phone: (671) 735-2175/6
Fax: (671) 734-6767

Bureau of Statistics and Plans
P.O. Box 2950
Hagatna, GU 96932 U.S.A.
Phone: (671) 472-4201
Fax: (671) 477-1812


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