Why Register Your Data?

Registering your metadata with the West Coast Ocean Data Portal (WCODP) is an excellent way to promote your data or web services to the ocean and coastal data community on the West Coast.

Some benefits of data registration in the WCODP include:

  • Wider advertisement of data holdings to new user groups and stakeholders.

  • Inclusion of your data in decision-making for regional issues like sea level rise adaptation, ocean acidification, and marine planning.

  • Accessibility to non-traditional users and audiences.

  • Demonstration of regional collaboration and sharing often required by grant funding agencies.

Criteria for Inclusion

Data Themes and Geographic Scope

The focus of the WCODP is regional data that depict coastal and ocean characteristics (biological, physical) as well as human uses, management, and potential impacts. Therefore, the following data types are the highest priority for registration:

Technical Prerequisites

Because metadata provides the details needed to display the record in the WCODP, a well-formed, standards-compliant metadata is a prerequisite for data registration. In addition, a primary goal of the WCODP is data sharing and collaboration, so it is a best practice to provide links to data and web services that are easily accessible and available in commonly-used geospatial formats.


  • The data must be geospatial, ideally in a GIS format, but may be in a tabular format that includes coordinates.

  • The data must have an on-line metadata record, preferably in Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) or ISO format.

  • The metadata should link to web services and/or a URL to download the data.

  • It is highly recommended that web services be OGC-compliant or exist as an ArcGIS version 10.x REST service.

Relationship to Other Portals

The WCODP regularly harvests select records from a number of regional, state, and federal data portals and clearinghouses. If appropriate, we encourage you to register your data with one of the portals listed below for ease of access by the WCODP, as well as to reach a broader audience. You can view the current data contributors here: or under the Sources tab on the Discover page:

State and Regional Portals, Registries, and Clearinghouses

National Portals
State Registries
Oceanographic Data Portals
Seafloor Mapping Data Portals

How to Register Data With the West Coast Ocean Data Portal

If you have geospatial data, metadata, and web services that you would like to make accessible via the West Coast Ocean Data Portal, follow the steps below:

  1. Identify the geospatial data and/or web mapping service(s) that you would like to share.
  2. Create standards-compliant metadata for your geospatial data and/or web mapping service(s).
    • Include the URLS for the data download location and/or web mapping service, or other ways for users to access the information.

    • Validate your metadata

  3. Publish your metadata via a Web Accessible Folder (WAF) or a Catalog Service (CSW) or through a regional portal or clearinghouse.

  4. Complete the form on the Contributor page of the WCODP, or contact the WCODP Administrator ( about your data set(s).

That’s it! The WCODP Administrator will be in touch to let you know that the harvest of your metadata was successful, or to work with you to make modifications if there were any problems.