Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use the data downloaded from OBIS-SEAMAP for my paper, products or publications?

OBIS-SEAMAP data are owned by the data providers and subject to the OBIS-SEAMAP Terms of Use. You are required to express attribution to both the data providers and OBIS-SEAMAP for use of the data in any publication, project, product, or commercial application unless the datasets you download are under public domain.


OBIS-SEAMAP defines the following data sharing license options:

Permission Attribution Commercial use
Public domain
Not required
No Yes All
Not required Yes Yes
Minimum unless "With all attributes" is selected
Not required Yes No Minimum unless "With all attributes" is selected
With permission
Required Yes - -

Minimum attributes include sighting location (latitude and longitude), date/time, species identified, the number of animals (herd / group size). These attributes are used to map the sightings on the online mapping tools. The data you can download from the OBIS-SEAMAP mapping tools vary dataset to dataset depending on the attributes allowed to be released. For a dataset under CC BY or CC BY-NC license option with the minimum attributes released, you can download only the minimum attributes. If you need other attributes, you have to get permission from the data provider and the downloadable data will be prepared one by one by the OBIS-SEAMAP team.


For a dataset under "with permission" option, you are required to contact the data provider and get permission. The data of such datasets are not available to download from the OBIS-SEAMAP web site.

I would like to access the data. Do I need an OBIS-SEAMAP account to log in?

You don't need to log in with an OBIS-SEAMAP account to access published datasets.

Unpublished datasets are only accessible to data owners who are given an OBIS-SEAMAP account by the OBIS-SEAMAP data manager. Some project-specific applications (e.g. PhotoID fin matching app) need an account to access. Such accounts will be issued by the project manager.

I'm conducting research on marine creatures. Can you give me the whole OBIS-SEAMAP database?

Please use the OBIS-SEAMAP web site to download the particular data of interest. The database is large and not easy to transfer. Furthermore, the use of the data is subject to the OBIS-SEAMAP Terms of Use.

How can I get high resolution images of the map I created with the Online Mapper?

We don't provide high quality (that is, suitable for publications) images. Please take a screen shot. As always, please remember to contact the data provider as required by the Terms of Use before using any data for publications or products. Also, if the screen shot includes Google Maps imagery and it is used in any publications or products, you need to adhere to the Google Maps Terms of Use (see Google Maps Terms of Use).

Can I use the scientific illustrations posted on OBIS-SEAMAP for our organization's web site or publications?

The scientific illustrations and photos posted on OBIS-SEAMAP are copyrighted. Please contact the credited person for permission.

I can't download the file. A new window opens but disappears instantly. I'm using IE7/IE8.

First, please make sure popup windows are allowed for

Also the security settings have to be changed so that IE accepts the download file.

If you don't want to change the security settings, there is an alternative. You can just click "Download" link that appears on the page when the download file is ready (it follows "If download failed, try the link below").

<< To change the security settings in IE7/IE8 >>

  1. Go to [Tools]-[Internet Options].
  2. Switch to [Security] tab.
  3. Select "Trusted Sites" and click [Sites] button.
  4. Make sure "Require server verification (https:)..." is off as the OBIS-SEAMAP web site is not using https.
  5. You will see the URL to this site in "Add this web site..." box. Click [Add].
  6. Click [Close].
  7. Back to [Internet Options] dialog, click [Custom level].
  8. in [Security setting] dialog, scroll down until you find "Downloads."
  9. Check "Enable" for "File download".
  10. Click [OK]. You don't need to restart the browser.

What browsers does the OBIS-SEAMAP web site support?

Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 or later and Firefox are supported. IE7 should be fine but you may experience slow browsing. Other browsers such as Google Chrome and Safari should work fine but are not fully tested.