Baseline characterization and assessment of coral reefs, combined with long-term monitoring programs are keystone for the implementation of coastal and reef resources management policies, and they are essential for assessment of management effective-ness in MPAs. An integral approach to this task has been refined over the last decade incorporating advances in knowledge and technology, implementing a set of tools that builds geographic information on: What is where? How much there is? What is its condition? And, when enough monitoring data is available it adds: What are the temporal trends? These tools have ben developed to be time and cost effective incorporating information from field surveys (fish census, benthic communities videotransects, acoustic depth-surveys, water quality sampling) and high-resolution remotely sensed imagery, coupled with spatial predictive modeling and Geographic Information Systems. A digital platform (RealReefs) has also been developed to aid in the training of personnel to conduct field surveys and its products are available for free on the internet in the form of a web portal with manuals and tutorials and a mobile application to aid in the video-transect analysis.