North Carolina is a very diverse state - especially when it comes to outdoor recreation opportunities. This weekend you could go hiking or kayaking in the mountains, watch a hot air balloon festival near Raleigh, and go wind surfing or fishing at the coast. And if you've got your SCUBA certification, you could go diving in the Graveyard of the Atlantic! In this blog post I focus on the diving, and create an interactive map of the dive sites...
Before we get started, here's a picture of me on a dive trip. I got certified about 10 years ago through Reef and Ridge Sports in Raleigh, and went diving at several locations off the NC coast (including the Indra, U-352, and Meg Ledge).
There are several lists of places to dive in North Carolina, but each list seemed to mainly focus on one area of the coast (usually an area within the range of the various charter dive shops). But I wanted to pull them all together and plot them on an interactive SAS map, so I could easily tell what wrecks were available in what area, and then click on them to find more information. This would help me plan future vacations & dive trips!
So I searched the web, and started compiling a list of dive sites (mostly shipwrecks), and some basic information about each one. The critical information (and the most difficult to find for some of the locations) was the latitude/longitude coordinates. Some of the shipwreck pages had the coordinates, and I was able to find some in the NC Artificial Reef guide. Collecting the data probably took more time than writing the code to draw the map. Here's an example of what my text data file looks like:
And here's the map I was able to create, using SAS/Graph's Proc Gmap. Click the image below to see the interactive version. Then you can hover your mouse over the red markers to see summary info about each dive site, and click each marker to launch a Google search for more information.
In addition to the map, I also created a table of the data (scroll down below the map on the interactive page), with html links from the wreck/site names to launch a Google search. People with less experience & training should stick with shallower dives, therefore I sorted the list by depth. Here's a screen-capture showing part of the table:
Are you a SCUBA diver? If so, have you ever been diving on any of these shipwrecks off the NC coast? Which was your favorite? (feel free to leave a comment)