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The Spatial Analysis and Resource Characterization (SPARC) tool FY2009-FY2011


The Spatial Analysis and Resource Characterization (SPARC) tool is an ArcGIS 10 add-in designed to simplify and streamline spatial analysis and to organize data layers in a structured format. Its primary analytical function is to calculate the relative distribution of spatial data inside and outside of defined spatial areas, zones or boundaries.

Project Summary

The SPARC tool was developed by NCCOS’ Biogeography Branch and the National Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Center to help analyze the distribution of marine resources among MPAs and MPA networks. SPARC is designed to support conservation planning by helping coastal and ocean managers identify areas where resources of interest occur, where those areas overlap with existing MPAs, and potential gaps in resource protection.

SPARC summarizes statistics for areas and points based on the areas of interest as defined by the user (e.g. MPAs, planning areas, or zones). It can report the coverage (percentage) of resources present inside the target areas relative to the overall regional resource extent. The tool is customized with a user-friendly graphical interface that prompts the user to select the analysis inputs and provides a simple organizational strategy to manage the input and output datasets.



Time Frame

Completed: FY2009 – FY2011

For More Information

Project Manager:
1305 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910
301-713-3028 x107