The above map shows some of my completed island mapping projects. Each icon contains the name of the primary island associated with the project and a link to the post. Once all of my projects are posted, the map will be covered with icons. To productively use the map, zoom into a region of interest. Then select an icon.

Each of my maps is constructed of numerous layers of information. All of the layers are vector files. I will make these files available upon request. You are free to use them with certain restrictions - 1) Don't sell them. You can use them on research projects, post them to your website or things of that nature. If you aren't sure about the use of my maps, drop me a line and we can discuss your idea. 2) Give me credit when you use my vectors or images of my maps. Credit them to Peter Minton @ EVS-Islands

If I have the island vector file(s) and based upon your need, I will make them available. Images of my maps are yours to download and use, with the above restrictions applicable. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Thoughts - Poop, Pee, Garbage and Island Pollution

Lukunor Atoll FM

Lukunor Atoll FM

I've spent the morning exploring Pacific Islands using Google Earth while watching Saturday College Football. During my travels, I checked out Lukunor Atoll and noticed something that shows up all too frequently - people pollution.

People Poop Water

Lukunor Atoll - The populated motu (1,000+)

What is that dark stuff along the lagoon shore of this motu? I think it is people residue - poop, pee and garbage. It only shows up where people live. These populated atolls aren't known for their state-of-the-art sewage facilities. Most often the poop, pee and garbage end up in the lagoon.  I can't speak for Lukunor, but the sewage and garbage most likely ends up in the lagoon. Just a guess.

People Poop Water Detail

Lukunor Atoll - The populated motu (1,000+) Detail

This looks like people pollution to me. Especially, when you compare this populated shoreline segment with an uninhabited motu within the same atoll.

Poop-Free and Poop

Lukunor Atoll - Populated motu and unpopulated motu

The motu on the right is populated.  The motu on the left is unpopulated. One motu is marked with an unnatural dark stain along it's shore while the other looks natural. Let's zoom in on the clean shore and take a look.

People Poop Free Water Detail

Lukunor Atoll - Unpopulated motu and a pristine shore

This is an image of a clean shoreline.  This motu seems to be unpopulated - no people poop, pee or garbage.  This lagoon is flushed continually by the deep blue sea which gains access through some very large hoa's.  The atoll would be able to maintain a decent level of cleanliness if it weren't for the people.  We apparently generate much more pollution than the normal flushing system can handle. 

People will live on islands. They will poop, pee and generate garbage. We need to do a better job at handling the pollution we generate. I know that the issue of pollution control on small islands is one that is oft discussed, but apparently difficult to solve. I don't have a ready answer, but the damage created is visibly evident. We need to be excellent stewards of our world. It is the only one we have.



It would be great if you could provide Google Maps links or Google Earth placemarks for the islands you are talking about.

This would allow all of us interested in island geography easier navigation to the locations.

Here's an example of a GM link for Lukunor Atoll:,153.769455&spn=0.24436,0.410614&t=k&om=0

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/23/2006 10:34:00 AM  

Marine algae (seaweed) probably, established and widespread from the nutrient source (poop and pee) on land. You wouldn't see distinct patches like that if it really was sewage in the water. Unless it was a fast, high concentration discharge like you'd find next to a coastal rivermouth, for instance. These are on the seafloor.

This is occuring all over the world, though as you say... inland, especially. Just because the water is clear doesn't mean it can't make you deadly sick from contamination.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/24/2006 07:34:00 AM  

I am very glad for everyone's concern about this island - especially because I am from that island. Life on this island is very simple. We don't have running water, electricity, cars, let alone a sewer system. What you see as the dark areas in the water is seaweed. Im no marine biologist but it could definately be related to the waste. Much of the garbage is thrown in ditches and covered when its filled up. Eventually, there will be no where else to dig. Solution? I don't know. No one makes money here. All are farmers and fishermen but perhaps education would be a great step for keeping this island clean.

By Anonymous Ben Rayphand, at 8/10/2009 08:22:00 PM  

I have lived there. It is NOT sewage, but sea grass like the previous commentors stated. Yes, sanitation could be improved on these islands, but if you think for one second this lagoon is more polluted than your local American beach, with all the chemical runoff and dumping, you are an idiot.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3/13/2013 10:34:00 PM  

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Tatakoto Atoll FP

Tatakoto Atoll FP

Tatakoto (17˚20'S., 138˚25'W.) is a low atoll about 90 miles NW of Pukaruha that is wooded on the NW part. The lagoon is inaccessible from the sea, but a landing may be made near a flagstaff in a village on the atoll's W side.  (SD Pub-126)


Other names given by European discoverers: Augier, Narcisse

Tatakoto is located 1,182 kilometers (724 miles) from the island of Tahiti and some 180 kilometers (119 miles) from the nearest inhabited atolls of Vahitahi and Puka Puka; Tatakoto is undoubtedly one of the most remote atolls in the Tuamotu Archipelago as well as all of French Polynesia.


This bean-shaped atoll is 14 kilometers (8.7 miles) long and 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) wide. It is located at 17°20’ south latitude and 138°24’ west longitude.
Tatakoto covers an area of 730 hectares (1,804 acres) divided up into 65 islets, or motu. Its lagoon, which covers an area of 1,970 hectares (4,868 acres), is 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) long and 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) wide. The biggest motu is 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) long and 400 meters (1,312 ft.) wide, covering the entire north coast of the atoll in an east-west direction. The southern side of the atoll is exposed to prevailing winds and is composed of a series of motu separated by small passes. The biggest motu has an unpaved runway that is practical for flying out copra. The village of Tumukuru is concentrated on both sides of the main road and along the coconut plantation road, an overall area measuring 600 meters (1,969 ft.) long by 200 meters (656 ft.) wide. Six main streets crisscross the village of Tumukuru, which is located on the western point of the atoll. Tatakoto has an aerodrome located near the village, but the atoll does not have a pass through the coral reef enclosing the lagoon. The village has a whaleboat dock and a 25-meter (82-ft.) pier. A second whaleboat dock is located in the southern part of the atoll.


Two Spanish explorers—Domingo de Boenechea and Andiay Varela—sighted Tatakoto independently of each other on the same day in 1774, becoming the atoll’s first European discoverers. From 1900 to 1927 Frenchman Albert Javelot served as the atoll’s chief, planting the atoll with coconut trees that still cover the atoll today. The 1996 census recorded a population of 247 persons.

(From Presidency of French Polynesia Web Site)

Atolls are both satisfying and frustrating to map.  They take hours to complete.  This atoll consists of 13 identified layers and another 4 additional layers.  Each layer of information requires consistent identification and delineation.  Each atoll's EVS Reef Middle, for example, should be consistently identified from the Landsat mosaics used as base imagery no matter the island.  The steps to create a map such as this are both tedious and demanding.  Now for the good stuff - the finished map looks great!  It not only looks great, it is a solid cartographic effort.  Even before I began this project, I knew that ultimately the finished product would look great.  The base imagery is clean and provides a crisp picture of the atoll.  The challenge was to keep working.  And that is just what I did.


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Comparison: JPEG, MrSid, TIFF and EVS World Map (Repost)

Isle of Wight - Image

Isle of Wight - Landsat Image N-30-50_2000

I recently had a visitor to this site request Landsat ETM+ imagery so they might digitize shorelines to create a map. Global Mapper gives me an option to save a screen shot, along with JGW and PRJ files which allows the image to be loaded into it's proper lat/lon grid. I took the image of Isle of Wight and zoomed to a scale of 1:150,000. I knew there would be image degradation, but I hoped it would be of small significance for my digitizing purposes.

JPEG, MrSid and TIFF

Isle of Wight - Image Detail (JPEG, MrSid and TIFF)

I am spoiled. I work with Landsat ETM+ images for much of my Enhanced Vector Shoreline (EVS) digitizing. All three images started at a scale of 1:150,000. The detailed images are zoomed to a scale of 1:12,500, where I typically do most of my digitizing. Anti-alias pixel smoothing was applied to all three images. I know that this algorithm is a "black box" smoothing technique. I happen to prefer it over the clunky pixel format. But that is another comparison.

The pristine central image is MrSid format. This is a proprietary image compression format, developed by LizardTech, that shrinks Landsat TIFF images into manageable file sizes. MrSid does to TIFF format what MP3 does to WAV format. In other words a tremendous reduction in file size. The top image is JPEG. I use this format for all of my EVS-Islands images. It shrinks the image typically to about 200kb or less. The bottom image is TIFF. This format, reputed to give the "best" image, I seldom work with.

It looks as if both JPEG and TIFF images degrade (blurry). If my work did not require extremely precise digitizing, these images, at this scale (1:12,500), would be fine. Between the JPEG and TIFF images, the TIFF image seems to offer the greatest clarity.

Should my visitor use either image (JPEG or TIFF) to do their digitizing? That is their choice. Both formats give one "okay" clarity. On the other hand, when you have used MrSid format, it is tough to recommend anything else. For the digitizing work that I do, MrSid format is the best available.

I am not a photogrammetrist. If you are, I am certain that there are many strong arguments for using TIFF imagery (original and uncompressed) versus MrSid imagery (2nd-generation and compressed). Any time you manipulate imagery you risk degradation and MrSid formatting manipulates imagery. However, I can see that the superior image for my work is MrSid format. I work with limited storage and MrSid formatted imagery fits easily onto my hard drives. My preferred mapping program, Global Mapper, effortlessly handles these MrSid formatted images. Once loaded, I can work at 1:12,500 scale throughout the world using MrSid format. In short, my EVS World Map will be made using MrSid formatted Landsat images.

10/20/2006 - More and more 1-meter resolution or better imagery is freely available. The Isle of Wight, used in the above example, is imaged at 1-meter or better resolution on both Google Earth and Windows Local Live. However, my last line in the previous paragraph still holds true, the Landsat ETM+ 2000 imagery, which is worldwide in scope, is still my choice for constructing an EVS precision World Shoreline Map. I am keenly aware of NGA's Prototype Global Shoreline (PGA) which used Landsat ETM+ 2000 imagery to construct a Global Shoreline. I have also demonstrated in a number of posts that EVS offers a more precise depiction of the world's shorelines


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Hmm, is this the whole comparison?

By Blogger Mateusz Loskot, at 5/13/2006 09:03:00 AM  

Interesting post. You are working with a slightly different goal than most GIS types, and although I don't feel that same as you do about the LizardTech format, I can see why you would like to use it. Keep in mind however, if you are ever using the reflectance values from the landsat for anything other than heads-up digitizing you will probably encounter serious differences between calculations derived from the different formats.


By Anonymous dylan beaudette, at 10/20/2006 08:36:00 AM  

I always like to see people do real tests on their own real data.. A few comments, though --

* Maybe I'm missing something, but if your bottom image is TIFF, it appears to be a lossy compressed TIFF; "normal" TIFF is lossless, and so should look much better than what you posted..?

* Which generation of MrSID are you using, the older MG2 or the newer MG3? And at what compression ratio?

* For the JPEG image also, what compression ratio are you using?

* Finally, you can also consider JPEG 2000. Although not nearly as widely supported in the GIS arena yet, it gives image quality comparable to MrSID (MG3) and is an ISO standard too.

[DISCLAIMER: employed by, but not speaking for, LizardTech.]

By Anonymous mpg, at 10/20/2006 03:30:00 PM  

To mpg,

You got me! I am working with MrSID Landsat imagery downloaded from NASA ( I am not sure if I have MG2 or MG3. Seeing that it is a government run website and I have been tapping into this imagery for about 2-years plus, it is probably the older compression ratio? Now, I must admit, I don't know MG2 from MG3. Also, the TIFF formatted image is probably not a true TIFF image. That would explain why it is blurry. A true TIFF formatted image should be sharper than MrSID. Right?

I am aware of JPEG 2000 imagery. The files tend to be quite large for my purposes. I truely love working with MrSID formatted files. My mapping program, Global Mapper, handles them easily. To make the maps I make, MrSID formatted Landsat imagery works great. Plus I can load nearly all of the Landsat Mosaics I might use onto my 160-GB hard drive.

mpg, did this make sense to you? Thanks for the questions and comments.

Mr Minton
San Diego CA

By Blogger Mr Minton, at 10/20/2006 04:24:00 PM  

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ducie Atoll PC (Repost)

Ducie Island - Shuttle Image

Ducie Atoll - ISS Image ISS002-E-10043

Ducie Island - Map

Ducie Atoll - Marplot Map

I ended up using an Space Shuttle image to digitize this map. It is a good map. The reef is largely awash. This island is visited occassionally by Pitcairn Islanders. The UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre has information on the island. The island is a part of the Protected Area and World Heritage Programme.


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Dana mentions Ducie Island in his epic Two Years before the Mast

By Blogger stutch, at 10/16/2008 05:41:00 PM  

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Aitutaki Atoll CW

Aitutaki Atoll - Image

Aitutaki Atoll - Landsat Image S-04-15_2000

Aitutaki Atoll - Map

Aitutaki Atoll - Marplot Map

Aitutaki (18˚54'S., 159˚46'W.), the farthest NW of the Lower Cook Islands, lies about 51 miles WNW of Manuae Atoll. The island, about 4 miles long in a N-S direction, is located at the N end of a reef which is a fringing reef on its N extremity, but becomes a barrier reef farther S. A number of small islets, from 6 to 18m high and covered with trees, stand on the barrier reef; also, some low cays on the E side of the reef break heavily.

Aitutaki rises to a height of 119-meters in the N part. A light is situated on this peak. There are some conspicuous rocks, 11.6m high, off a point on the W coast about 2 miles SSW of the N extremity of the island. A house with a conspicuous silver-grey roof stands near the coast, about 0.4 mile SSE of the conspicuous rocks, and 0.6 mile SSW of the house there is a church with a conspicuous red roof.

Motikitiu, a small islet, is located near the SE extremity of the barrier reef 4 miles SE of Aitutaki; Maina, a small islet, is located near the W extremity of the reef, 5.5 miles WNW of Motikitiu.

(SD Pub-126)

Group: Archipelago: Southern Cook Islands Country: Cook Islands Region: Oceania 16 Lat: 18.88º S Long : 159.74º W Area: 16.5 sq. km Altitude: 124 m Shoreline: 24.1 km (scale 1:250000) Coastal Index: 1.4606 Submerged area <100 m: 0 sq. km Reef area: 0 sq. km Lagoon area: 66 sq. km Depth to nearest land: 4000 m Nearest island: 100 km Group: 700 km Nearest continent: Australia Distance: 5000 km Isolation Index: 107 ISLAND TYPE: volcanic, almost atoll Natural Protection Indicator: 0 GEOLOGY/SOILS: Volcanic island to one side of large lagoon which is silting up (mostly under 4.5 m, maximum 10.5 m depth), 13 low coral islands (2.2 km}) on triangular reef CLIMATE: tropical rainfall 1900 mm CATASTROPHIC THREATS: cyclones Threat Indicator: 1 ECOSYSTEMS: Lowland rain forest, disturbed lowland vegetation; coconuts and scrub on coral islets; fringing reef, barrier reef 600-1000 m wide, lagoon with patch reefs (CRD) Forest Number of Ecosystems - Terrestrial: 4 Marine: 4 Percent shoreline: Coral Reef: 99% Mangrove: 0% SPECIES OF CONSERVATION INTEREST: Marine life: 28 coral genera Birds: Vini peruviana (Tahiti Lorikeet) introduced, Rare (RDB) Species Richness Indicator - Terrestrial: 1 Marine: 0 HUMAN OCCUPATION: Inhabited Population: 2904 (1960) Density: 176.0 persons/sq. km Growth Rate: 1.1%/yr Increasing slowly Major Human Activities: agriculture, tourism,, fishing and aquaculture HUMAN IMPACTS: Much of land cleared for agriculture Habitat: scattered villages Urban Pop: 0 Urban Indicator: 0 Accessibility: airport Conservation support: legislation DATA RELIABILITY: good Data Rel. Indicator: 3 HUMAN IMPACT INDEX HI: 7 CONSERVATION IMPORTANCE INDEX CI-Terrestrial: 7 Moderate CI-Marine: 4 Low REFERENCES: Good SPOT satellite images of Aititaki (Lubersac et al., in press) Last updated: 06/05/89

This was not a particularly difficult project to complete. It was just time consuming. It took about 5-hours of work to finish. I am surprised that the Sailing Directions had so little information about this island. It usually has quite alot to say about islands of this size, especially when they have a port listed in the World Port Index.

You will note that I have not attempted to edit the UNEP Islands information. I am awaiting word from the gentleman who controls access to the data. I need to secure permission to post edited information.

There is a great resource available online for this island. The publication is the Smithsonian's Atoll Research Bulletin No 190. The link I have given you will take you to the index. Find No 190 in the list of pubs titled "Almost-Atoll of Aitutaki: Reef Studies in the Cook Islands, South Pacific". The research was conducted in the early 1970's. The pub contains some excellent maps of the individual motus. If you have an interest in this island, this is the pub for you.


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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Maria Est Atoll FP

Maria Est Atoll FP

Maria Est Atoll (22˚01'S., 136˚11'W.) is a small atoll covered with brushwood; the lagoon is inaccessible from the sea. (SD Pub-126)

The French call this Maria Est Atoll. This is to differentiate between another Atoll Maria they control. I'm not sure if this atoll has a permanent population. Probably not, as the size is small and the lagoon lacks sea access. Most likely, islanders visit to harvest copra or brushwood (for carving).

As a kid, this is the type of island that fascinated me - uninhabited, with vegetation (rain water) and off the beaten path. When the world became too much to handle, these places looked inviting. Come to think of it, they still do.

The map took 4-hours plus to complete. There are a total of 10-layers that make up the map: 3 are reef (EVS Reef Deep, EVS Reef Shallow, EVS Reef Awash), 4 are ground cover (EVS Sand/Rock/Clay, EVS Barren, EVS Sparse Vegetation, EVS Mixed Vegetation), 1 is the island proper (EVS Island), 1 is the island outline (EVS Enhanced Vector Shoreline) and the final contains the island name(s) (EVS Island Name). All island maps I make contain a minimum of 3-layers (EVS Enhanced Vector Shoreline, EVS Island and EVS Island Name). Atolls lend themselves to multiple layers as the reefs and groundcover are typically easy to discern and are consistent in appearance.

When you map using Landsat imagery as your base image expect clouds. Most Landsat imagery is nearly cloud-free. However, if the image does contain clouds, they can obscure the underlying ground features. Clouds can render mapping into frustrating "guess work". In the image above you will note the northern end of the atoll is very dark. This is due to a lone cloud floating by (just off of the image to the north). The shapes of the underlying features are nearly indistinguishable from the black ocean background. As a result, the map section of those features, is educated "guess work". It is practiced "guess work", but still just a "guess".


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Manuae Atoll FP (Repost)

Atoll Manuae - Image

Manuae Atoll - Landsat Image S-05-15_2000

Atoll Manuae - Map

Manuae Atoll - Marplot Map

Manuae Atoll (Fenua Ura) (16˚32'S., 154˚41'W.) is the farthest W of Iles de la Societe. The reef encircling the lagoon is about 7 miles long NNW-SSE and about 5 to 6 miles wide. There is a group of low, and consequently dangerous, islets on the reef. The E side of the atoll is said to be green with trees, but the W side is reported to be coral which breaks heavily for about 5 miles. The lagoon is only accessible to craft by a pass located at about 0.4 mile to the WSW of the N point. A cavity in the barrier-reef also allows whalers on the E coast close to the town; craft must be pulled up on the reef flat. This landing as well as the crossing of the pass can only be planned in calm weather. At night or in thick weather, vessels should avoid approaching this atoll. (SD Pub-126)

The lone village is located on the southern part of the northern motu. There is information about a shipwreck that occurred on this atoll at Latitude 38 Letters. They include a small chart of the island in their report.

I mapped this island over 3-years ago. The layers I had used were "clunky" (technical mapping term). I cleaned up the map, basically by remapping it. I started this map during the early afternoon and finished it at about 9:00 PM. Not all of that time was spent mapping.


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Vanavana Atoll FP (Repost)

Atoll Vanavana - Image

Vanavana Atoll - Landsat Image S-07-20_2000

Atoll Vanavana - Map

Vanavana Atoll - Marplot Map

Vanavana Atoll (20˚47'S., 139˚08'W.), a small atoll 1.5 miles in diameter, has thick and bushy vegetation growing on it. There is no entrance into the lagoon. The landing place, which can be reached only in a light swell, is at the W end of the atoll, close N of a gap in the coconut palms. A 4m high rock lying on the atoll may appear larger than its actual size due to a mirage effect. (SD Pub-26)

I spent about one hour on this atoll. I had mapped it previously (about 4-months ago). My mapping skills are greatly improved. So, I remapped the atoll and created a far superior map compared to the one I had produced before.


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Google maps allows a close look at this atoll, and what's instantly noticeable is that the entire island has been planted with palms in perfect rows. There is also a settlement on the north rim of the atoll. Every reference to the atoll calls it uninhabited and nowhere is there ay mention of these planted trees. What happened here?

By Blogger Dan, at 4/19/2010 05:42:00 AM  


After mapping many atolls, what you note is true, Vanavana Atoll is planted with palms. When it is time to harvest, a crew will work to complete the harvest. Once done, the island goes back to it's uninhabited state. If not uninhabited, a caretaker crew remains on the island.

By Blogger Mr Minton, at 4/19/2010 07:29:00 AM  

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Iles du Duc de Gloucester FP (Repost)

Three Islands

Iles du Duc de Gloucester - Marplot Map

This group of 3-atolls continues my mapping journey through the Tuamotus. The Sailing Direction (SD Pub-126) says the following: Iles du Duc de Gloucester (20˚37'S., 143˚17'W.) consists of three small atolls, similar in aspect, located about 136 miles SW of Negonego.

Nukutipipi Atoll, the E atoll of this group, is wooded on its E side; there is no entrance to the lagoon.

Anuanu Ruga Atoll lies 11 miles WNW of Nukutipipi. The reef on the W side is submerged, except for some coral heads.

Anuanu Raro Atoll is located 14 miles NW of Atoll Anuanu Ruga. The reef on the NW and SW sides extends seaward and is marked by heavy surf.

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Nukutipipi Atoll FP (Repost)

Atoll Nukutipipi - Image

Nukutipipi Atoll - Landsat Image S-07-20_2000

Atoll Nukutipipi - Map

Nukutipipi Atoll - Marplot Map

Nukutipipi - is wooded on its E side; there is no entrance to the lagoon.

(SD Pub-126)

Atoll Research Bulletin (ARB) 357 consists of an extensive discussion of this atoll based on observations during a 1988 visit by the Salvats. In the section entitled "A Brief Description of the Atoll" (pg-9) they note the following: "Nukutipipi is half moon shaped and oriented west-north-west and east-south-east, with its long axis of 3.5 km and small axis of approximatly 2 km. Two little islets (motu) of different length constitute the north and curved rim of the atoll : the north-west motu is 673-m long and the north motu is 2,745 m long. They are separated by a narrow channel (hoa) communicating ocean and lagoon waters, which is maximally 150 m wide and 1 m deep."

"The south rim of the atoll is a submerged reef where ocean water enters the lagoon, which is 1.500 m wide and no more than 2 m deep. The lagoon consist of a shallow platform, 0 to 2 metres deep, well developed on the south submerged rim, surrounding a deeper part (about 100 hectares, 17 m maximum depth). No patch reef rises up from the lagoon floor to the surface. When trade winds blow from the south or from the east, ocean waves break on the algal crest of the south rim and die towards the lagoon ; lagoon waters exit to the ocean via the hoa. Figure 4 shows a map of the atoll and two sections along the longitudinal and transversal axis. The tidal range is between 20 and 40 cm according to neap or spring tides but meteorological and oceanographical conditions have more effect on the lagoonal water level than the tide. Salinity in the region is 36%0 throughout the year and sea surface temperature between 23 and 27'5 C."

This ARB contains a wealth of information relevant to this Atoll. The pictures are poorly copied, but they do show alittle about the look of the motus. The reader will not be disappointed to spend a few minutes studying this FREE on-line resource.


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I spent two years on this atoll (84-85) just before the hurricanes. We were six men the first year, working hard to plant thousands trees and building houses. we were two men the second year working on black pearls. I will be interressed by any informations you could get about this island. Sory for my bad english.
sincerly yours

By Anonymous, at 10/14/2006 09:36:00 AM  

Oops! It was not before but after the huricanes. sorry.

By Anonymous michel Guillou, at 10/14/2006 09:39:00 AM  

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Anuanu Ruga Atoll FP (Repost)

Atoll Anuanu Ruga - Image

Anuanu Ruga Atoll - Landsat Image S-07-20_2000

Atoll Anuanu Ruga - Map

Anuanu Ruga Atoll - Marplot Map

Anuanu Ruga Atoll lies 11 miles WNW of Nukutipipi. The reef on the W side is submerged, except for some coral heads. (SD Pub-126)


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Anuanu Raro Atoll FP (Repost)

Atoll Anuanu Raro - Image

Anuanu Raro Atoll - Landsat Image S-07-20_2000

Atoll Anuanu Raro - Map

Anuanu Raro Atoll - Marplot Map

Anuanu Raro Atoll is located 14 miles NW of Anuanu Ruga Atoll. The reef on the NW and SW sides extends seaward and is marked by heavy surf. (SD Pub-126)


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Hereheretue Atoll FP (Repost)

Atoll Hereheretue - Image

Hereheretue Atoll - Landsat Image S-06-15_2000

Atoll Hereheretue - Map

Hereheretue Atoll - Marplot Map

Hereheretue Atoll (19˚54'S., 145˚00'W.) lies about 82 miles WNW of the atoll of Anuanu Raro. There is no entrance to the lagoon, but there is a landing place a few hundred meters N of the W extremity of the atoll. Landing is dangerous with a W wind. The sea off the atoll is often heavy.

(SD Pub-126)

I have worked on this atoll off and on throughout the day. It is now 4:30 AM and I am just completing this project. Actually, I woke up at 3:00 AM and finished the reefs.

As I worked on these, I located a great resource for coral atoll research. The Atoll Research Bulletin is published by the Smithsonian. The bulk of the bulletins are posted as PDF files at the above web site. Not all atolls are covered, but the scope of information is second to none.

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Kaukura Atoll FP (Repost)

Atoll Kaukura - Image

Kaukura Atoll - Landsat Image S-06-15_2000

Atoll Kaukura - Map

Kaukura Atoll - Marplot Map

POL - Atoll Kaukura

Kaukura Atoll, about 15 miles W of Toau, is 25 miles long in an ESE-WNW direction. The N side is wooded, but the S side only has two clumps of trees. Large blocks of coral, some 9m high and visible 12 miles, are located on the S side of the atoll.

Passe Moturaa, near the middle of the N side of the atoll, will accommodate vessels with a draft of less than 1.5m. Motu Panao, on the NW side of the atoll, is practicable only for boats.

Tides—Currents.—The tidal currents in the pass and the boat passage are strong; they set E on the flood current and W on the ebb current. (SD Pub-126)

This project was complex, tedious and ultimately satisfying. The map is made up of 711 unique objects. Some of the objects quite complex. I have spent the better part of three days constructing this map. The image is extremely clear. The shorelines, with various ground covers identified took the greatest amount of time. It is now 12:13 AM and it is with a deep sense of satisfaction that this atoll has been mapped. I will add a few additional images of Kaukura Atoll with comments.

Atoll Kaukura - Detail of Raitahiti

Kaukura Atoll - Detail of Raitahiti

This is a detail of the village of Raitahiti. The motu of Panao is actually located to the northeast of Raitahiti. The village has a pension that can accomodate a few tourists. There is an airfield that offers quick connections with Tahiti.

Atoll Kaukura - Detail of Northern Motus

Kaukura Atoll - Detail of Northern Motus

Atoll Kaukura - Detail of Eastern Motus

Kaukura Atoll - Detail of Eastern Motus

This string of motus took the better part of 4-hours to digitize. In my early efforts, I would have hustled through these small islets, not giving much attention to detail. Now, I must do the best job I can do. What I thought was my best, was not. Now, my best takes much more time to accomplish, but the finished product is excellent.

Atoll Kaukura - Detail of Faro

Kaukura Atoll - Detail of Faro

Faro is the other large motu located within this atoll. Since the majority of the population (380) lives at Raitahiti, motus such as Faro would afford a visitor a place to get away from it all.

Atoll Kaukura - Detail of Southern Motus

Kaukura Atoll - Detail of Southern Motus

The southwestern rim of the atoll has a few motus. They are small, yet are covered with vegetation.


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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ostrov Sveti Anastasia BU

Ostrov Sveti Anastasia BU

Ostrov Sveti Anastasia was once site of a convent which was vacated in 1923. The island became a prison shortly after. In 1925 there was a prisoner's revolt. Consequently, the name of the island became Ostrov Bolshevik in honor of the prisoners. After the end of the Soviet Union the name of the island was changed to St Anastasia to honor the convent of previous years.  Today the island has a pub, an empty convent and a lighthouse.

This is a redo of a portion of a previous post using 1-meter imagery versus 14.5-meter resolution imagery. If all the world were imaged at 1-meter or better, if that imagery were cloud-free and if all that imagery were free, life would be swell. The next best thing is companies like Windows Live Local, Google Earth and Yahoo Maps provide all of us with 1-meter imagery.  Thanks.



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Thoughts - How Many Map Makers Visit This Site?

"A map is a simplified depiction of a space, a navigational aid which highlights relations between objects within that space. Most usually a map is a two-dimensional, geometrically accurate representation of a three-dimensional space."  (Wikipedia Definition)

Based on the above definition...I make maps.  Seems I am stating the obvious.  But this obvious leads me to my main question for this post, "How many map makers visit this site?".

Prior to map making, I was a map user, a map admirer and a map skills teacher.  Back in the early 80's, I worked in a map store, The Map Centre.  It was a neat little store located in a seedy part of town, but known and visited by map-aholics from all over the world.  Tommy and Cam Thompson were the owners of this wonderful retail enterprise.  That was 25-years ago.  Tommy and Cam have since passed away.  The Map Centre still exists, but in a better part of town.  And it is still a favorite destination for the paper map-aholic.

After my discovery of Marplot and after gaining the necessary skills to use a mapping program proficiently, I began to play at map making.  Very simple maps with minimal layers of additional information constituted the bulk of my mapping.  And then I discovered mapping gold - free Landsat ETM+ 2000 mosaics.  I downloaded every mosaic that included shorelines - both continental coastal and oceanic.  I worked more on my map making craft using various GIS programs, but always returned to Marplot (my first love).

Today, I have constructed over 140 unique island maps that consist of shorelines with additional layers of information.  I have mapped extensive stretches of continental shorelines.  My excitement remains unabated.  I love the mapping process.  I love the finished product.  And I love sharing my efforts with genuinely interested visitors.

Do any of you pursue a similar map making passion?  If so, share your journey with me and the other readers of this site.  Map makers unite!



Mr. Minton,

Just letting you know that a fellow map maker enjoys your site. Love the islands. Sometimes you can almost escape to them using your maps.

Lately I've enjoyed laying down various conservation data into Google Earth using KML, for work however, it is electric utilities and various ESRI products.

My 2 cents work:
I think the furture of GIS is 3d globe viewers with the ability to turn on layers such as your own facinating work. Open source, high resolution backgrounds, open source vector data (especially transportation), and most import, open source development, so we can open up GIS to everyone.

I've had a passion for maps for 25 years and the luck to work in the field.

Don't think that there is no one appreciating you work. We are out there.

Randy Horner

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/16/2006 05:21:00 AM  

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