Sound IQ Data System
Island County Sound IQ is our project to collect, map and present our nearshore data online, using an easy-to-access, Internet-based platform. You can also now view information about the data layers on SoundIQ (metadata) and download the MRC geographic information systems (GIS) data via the Geoportal. For more information on how to use the site, check out our frequently asked questions.
About the Project
In 2011 we entered into an agreement with the City of Bellingham to adapt their land-based CityIQ data software system into a new, marine-based, data presentation system called SoundIQ. This was a breakthrough we have long sought in finding a home for our growing body of data about Island County's shores and marine waters. This data previously resided in many separate, isolated locations, largely unknown to the public, scientists and planners at all levels to which it might be helpful in making decisions.
For building the Sound IQ website we thank Suzanne Shull of the Northwest Straits Commission and Ann Stark of the City of Bellingham. They did the hard work of transforming it from concept into reality. Shull incorporated our data onto the base maps of Sound IQ. Stark uploaded it all onto the City of Bellingham's server. In the photograph at left, MRC member Linda Rhodes demonstrates the Beach Watchers intertidal monitoring website and also the MRC's Sound IQ to visitors at Sound Waters University.
Much assistance was provided by the Island County Shoreline Master Plan update effort and by our county's Planning, Public Works and Health deparments. All shared their data and maps with us.
Sound IQ presents nearshore data in map services, or "composite" maps, that combine multiple data layers. The system enables us to overlay and correlate such information as forage fish spawning beaches, eelgrass beds and shoreline hardening features, among many other datasets.
The SoundIQ system attempts to incorporate multiple datasets into one site. However, not all formats are compatible with each other.The Island County Beach Watchers Coastal Resource Atlas is a valuable multi-year dataset that is also accessible online. Click here to view this resource.