There is an urgent need to improve the availability of and access to environmental data, particularly for coastal communities facing extreme weather and rising seas. Availability to data for resources in the intertidal zone is lacking, particularly in areas with high tidal amplitudes in Northwest Atlantic regions. Identifying where and how much (i.e., biomass) intertidal vegetation is present, as well as monitoring change in the intertidal zone, is needed to understand how potential loss or degradation of these ecosystems and the services they provide will impact coastal regions.

Currently, there are no other spectral libraries or publicly available spectroradiometer data of intertidal macroalgae and vegetation in the Northwest Atlantic region. This lack of data hampers efforts to detect and measure environmental change using remote sensing tools such as Uncrewed Aircraft System (UAS) and satellite imagery - information which can be used to monitor ecosystem change, support decision-making of coastal communities, as well as mitigate natural and anthropogenic impacts to marine ecosystems.

To fill this gap, in 2019 Nearview partnered with Maine Maritime Academy, Schoodic Institute, and the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences to develop spectral libraries and field collection data methods that can be used in remote sensing to automate the classification and biomass estimation of intertidal zone macroalgae. Initially, this effort was funded by the Maine Economic Improvement Fund - Small Campus Initiative (MEIF-SCI) through Maine Maritime Academy. In 2021, with funding from the NOAA Small Business Innovation Research program, Nearview was able to build upon the MEIF-SCI research with the goal of developing spectral libraries and making them available to researchers and create this open access SLIS.

Speclib data is accessible and downloadable via the web application, or a REST API that allows users to define and access the Speclib web application data for third party use and applications. This document defines scripts and tools to access publicly available data via the REST API: https://speclib.nearview.net/api

Nearview has also developed a file translation server called Spectrans - an open data science microservice. The goal of the service is to make it easier to work with spectra in different file formats. Spectrans translates spectra from more than 15 different spectroradiometer manufacturers and native data formats, and returns data in a single generic format suitable for import and use in programs or scripts such as R and Python. The heart of the translation service is open source code from the SPECCHIO Spectral Information System (https://specchio.ch). Spectrans is open source and released under the same license as SPECCHIO.