Digital Coast


The Digital Coast was envisioned as an information delivery system that could efficiently serve not only data, but also the training, tools, and examples needed to turn data into useful information. In this way, the Digital Coast is designed to play a pivotal role in ensuring the wise use and management of coastal resources.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Services Center launched the Digital Coast website in 2008 and continues to lead the Digital Coast effort. They are supported by the partnership network, a guiding team that represents user groups and content providers. 


The Digital Coast website contains a variety of coastal data sets from many providers. These data sets are arranged into the following data themes:

  • Orthoimagery
  • Elevation
  • Benthic
  • Land Cover
  • Hydrography
  • Marine Boundaries
  • Socioeconomic

Format and Retrieval

Digital Coast data sets are provided in various industry-standard spatial data formats. Please visit the Digital Coast website to see which formats are available for specific data sets.

Access to Coastal Services Center-managed data is provided through the Data Access Viewer. This custom-developed application allows users to define an area of interest and select from a variety of datums, projections, and output file formats.

Access to externally-managed data is facilitated through links to the provider's data delivery mechanism.  


FGDC-compliant metadata is included with all Digital Coast data sets.


Most of the data sets in the Digital Coast are available free of charge. However, some licensed data is available for coastal management applications with certain restrictions.


Please visit the Digital Coast website to obtain notes and limitations for specific coastal data sets.

Data Availability

Date ranges vary.

Update Frequency

New data sets are added as soon as the providers make the data available.

Related Partners

NOAA is a federal agency focused on the condition of the oceans and the atmosphere. It plays several distinct roles within the Department of Commerce.