Blue Marble Releases COAST for Storm Surge and Sea-Level Rise Cost-Benefit Analysis

by | May 7, 2013

Hallowell, Maine, May 1, 2013”Blue Marble Geographics (, in partnership with the University of Southern Maine, is pleased to announce the release of COAST v1.0. COAST is a free software tool built on the Global Mapper SDK for use in modeling storm surge and sea level rise in relation to adaptation strategies and the cost-benefit analysis of those strategies. Blue Marble's geospatial data manipulation, visualization and conversion solutions are used worldwide by thousands of GIS analysts at software, oil and gas, mining, civil engineering, surveying, and technology companies, as well as governmental and university organizations.

COAST (Coastal Adaptation to Sea level rise Tool) is a process which helps users answer questions about the costs and benefits of various actions and strategies to avoid damage to assets from sea level rise and/or coastal flooding. COAST helps with this process by modeling adaptation strategies with geospatial data and presenting various scenarios upon output as KML or KMZ files that can be loaded and viewed within Google Earth. The tool is a free download that leverages research from the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Policy, specifically from the New England Environmental Finance Center's Sam Merrill.  Professor Merrill, lead researcher and consultant for COAST, and his team developed the models behind the COAST project with a particular focus on community engagement techniques used for modeling cost avoidance strategies with flooding.

When asked about his experience working with Blue Marble, Merrill said It has been simply terrific to watch these guys in action. Through a collaborative design process they provided exactly what we asked for – a generic, flexible, and neutral tool that will be able to serve the needs of hundreds of vulnerable coastal communities nationwide. Many of these towns may be ready to take some kind of adaptation action, like floodproofing, elevation, or building a seawall, but may be unsure whether it is a good investment. Now they have a way to begin to answer that question, and thanks to the 3D visualizations of avoided costs, they can do it in a way that spurs ongoing civic discussion about actions they will finally take.

The COAST software tool is essential for any community or organization concerned with coastal flooding, stated Blue Marble's President Patrick Cunningham.  Built on the Global Mapper SDK, this tool is a great companion to the Global Mapper desktop software and the accompanying consulting work of Professor Merrill's team.

The Global Mapper SDK provides a Windows DLL which allows you to include much of the functionality of Global Mapper within your own software applications. The SDK includes both native 32-bit and 64-bit DLLs, so users can target any Windows operating system. Global Mapper desktop software ($399 for a single user license) features support for over 200 types of geospatial data, a 3D viewer, attribute and geometry editing and creation and much more.

About Blue Marble Geographics

Blue Marble Geographics of Hallowell, ME is a leading developer and provider of software products and services for highly accurate geospatial data conversion solutions. Blue Marble is known for their coordinate conversion and file format expertise and is the developer of The Geographic Calculator, GeoCalc SDK, Global Mapper, Global Energy Mapper, and Global Mapper SDK. The company has been writing GIS software tools and solutions for twenty years and currently serves hundreds of thousands of users worldwide.


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