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With the backdrop of fish swimming by at the Seattle Aquarium, OneOcean Corp. CEO Don Pickering on Tuesday night took the wraps off his company’s debut product, an ambitious new file sharing service called ClipCard.

In the works for more than two years, OneOcean’s cloud-based service is a bit like Dropbox, just for  the massive files associated with marine geospatial data.

“The difficult part of ocean data is the fact that it is big,” said Pickering.  “We are talking Terabyte-sized files, which can take up to a week to download.”

With ClipCard, Pickering believes that government agencies, oil & gas companies, fisheries, telecommunications firms and others that rely on ocean data will be able to seamlessly share data within their own organizations or with other entities. The hope is that data stored behind proprietary systems also will be unlocked.

That could prevent the costly task of re-surveying parts of the ocean, putting data in the hands of researchers and engineers more quickly. Once someone finds data they want, they can download the source data from the ClipCards. That means a researcher in Norway could access files, and share it with a colleague in New York.

Historically, Pickering said that researchers and engineers were forced to ship hard drives containing the data via UPS or FedEx. OneOcean plans to charge $25 per month for 50 GB of data storage and transfer, with monthly plans increasing from there.

Just like the ocean itself, there’s a wide diversity of research available via ClipCards, including research by NOAA scientists who studied sound waves reflected off fish bladders in order to determine fish populations in the U.S. Virgin Islands and mapping of areas where wave energy could be utilized off the coast of Oregon.

We first covered the company last month after it raised $6.1 million in funding, including investments from GLE Capital. MySpace co-founder Aber Whitcomb also is a board member.

Don Pickering

At the time, Pickering noted that OneOcean could help researchers do their jobs better.

“There’s increasing demand on the ocean, and understanding what is there and being more resourceful can help us …. be more efficient and responsible in how we use it,” he said. “There’s a whole lot of benefit from both management and science and discovery that can be had through this technology.”

OneOcean is building its service on the back of Amazon Web Services, and at last night’s reception Pickering applauded his partner. He also noted that OneOcean is sitting at the confluence of several big trends.

“This incorporates a lot of capabilities and technologies from really previously disparate sectors. We’ve got cloud, SaaS, big data merging with open source GIS and geospatial expertise, and marine GIS,” he said. “And, when we combine it all, we really are delivering a revolutionary product.”

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