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GIS applications to maritime boundary definitions: diplomacy on and under the sea
Palmer, H.D.; Pruett, L.; Christensen, K.; Penman, T. (2000). GIS applications to maritime boundary definitions: diplomacy on and under the sea. IAMSLIC Proceedings 25: 125-133
In: Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the International Association of Aquatic and Marine Science Libraries and Information Centers. IAMSLIC: Imprint varies, more

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  • Palmer, H.D.
  • Pruett, L.
  • Christensen, K.
  • Penman, T.

    Under evolving criteria established under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), coastal states continue to re-define their sovereign claims to ocean space. Construction of a global database founded on a geographic information system (GIS) incorporates both adjudicated and claimed maritime boundaries providing the basis for determining what marine activities are permissible under the UNCLOS Articles. Graphic presentation of the location of such boundaries, coupled with attribute tables containing pertinent parameters, qualifications and references to these limits, permits offshore operators to plan and conduct activities which will not be in violation of UNCLOS Articles or the coastal nation's claims.MJR Technology Solutions maintains a global database of maritime boundaries incorporating not only limits established through legal channels such as the International Court of Justice and the coastal state's tribunals, but also those claimed but not legally resolved. In the case of the latter, disputed or unresolved boundary claims are especially significant to mariners who may be uncertain as to whose waters they may occupy or transit. The database clearly displays areas of overlapping claims and questionable limits, and provides accompanying attribute tables providing pertinent information on the nature and status of the claims.With the increasing capability to exploit natural resources on and under the deep seabed, at least 33 coastal nations can or have redrawn limits to their continental shelf claims which extend beyond their respective Exclusive Economic Zone-traditionally 200 nautical miles from the actual coast or baselines. As these cases are resolved through the UN's Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, they will be incorporated in the global database as revisions to the outer bounds of national claims to the seabed.

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