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Marsh Analysis and Planning Tool Incorporating Tides and Elevations


  • Restoration relative to Datum


As understanding of the critical role that wetlands play in the health of the world’s oceans, and protective, productive buffers against wave action and storms has grown, so has awareness of the critical need to both protect remaining wetlands and to begin a focused and coordinated effort to restore wetlands that have been lost. The first step in wetlands restoration is the re-introduction of various types of native marsh grasses. These grasses are often very sensitive to changes in salinity and water levels. In tidal areas, a small change in elevation can strongly affect salinity and saturation levels. It is therefore critical that restoration planning include a thorough knowledge of tidal and geodetic elevations and the range in which certain grass species can tolerate within a given restoration area.

NOAA’s Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (CO-OPS), partnering with the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) and the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), developed an ArcGIS add-in tool MAPTITE for coastal restoration planning. MAPTITE aids in the selection of vegetation types for different restoration elevations based on a combination of a digital elevation model (DEM) derived from GPS observations, local tidal datums, and grass species tolerances. By delineating planting areas and providing point data that can be uploaded to GPS receivers for those areas, MAPTITE allows users to accurately plant appropriate species during restoration, promoting growth of native species in order to successfully create or restore ecosystem functions of the marsh. The tool addresses a need of government, academic and coastal communities for coastal restoration planning.

How to use MAPTITE

Tidal Datum
Elevation model of the project site
Offset values to relate local tidal datums to land elevations
Tidal ranges of plant species to be included at the site

MAPTITE User Guide (PDF)

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  • MAPTITE Selection Form
    MAPTITE Selection Form

Shapefiles of planting zones on the elevation model for each grass species
Overlap areas depending on user inputs
Statistics such as area of planting zones and numbers of plants in each planting zone
Note: Uncertainty of outputs is dependent on the uncertainty of tidal datum, GPS data, tidal ranges of plant species, etc.

  • MAPTITE Output
    Species and Plant Coverage Based on the Inputs

Software Disclaimer

CO-OPS, NGS and NCCOS claim creation of this tool and expressly publish it to the public domain. This tool is free for the taking and cannot be appropriated by a single entity. It may be freely used and redistributed. MAPTITE is provided “as is,” without warranty to its performance, merchantable state, or fitness for any particular purpose. The entire risk associated with the results and performance of these data is assumed by the user. This tool should be used strictly as a planning reference tool and not for other purposes. No technical support is provided.

System requirements for MAPTITE:
ArcGIS 10.2
ArcGIS Spatial Analyst extension
Alternative MAPTITE download link

To provide feedback or for more information, please contact:

Email: COASTAL Program (

Revised: 10/15/2013
NOAA / National Ocean Service
Web site owner: Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services