The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is a globally unique and essential national resource for Australia; however no single map exists showing its geomorphic zonation and benthic community composition. These maps have not been produced for the GBR due to its large extent and the cost of mapping its extensive and mostly submerged reefs. This presentation introduces a new approach to map geomorphic and coral community zonation for the “shallow offshore reefs”, and validate the results, for a large reef system of the Capricorn Bunker Group in the GBR. These “shallow offshore reefs” are visible in optical remote sensing imagery to depths of 20 m. This approach to mapping and modelling of geomorphic and coral community zones combines: field data; Landsat 8 derived reflectance and bathymetry data (15 m x 15 m pixel size); cyclone track data; slope, wave exposure; object based image analysis and models for predicting the spatial distribution of GBR coral communities. The mapping and validation methods are being developed for future application to the whole of the GBR. This larger scale approach will include existing field data collection programs (e.g. Long Time Monitoring Program), citizen science groups (e.g. Reef Check, Eye on The Reef), and, crowd sourcing of other field data and interpretations (e.g. GeoWiki). The methods and digital maps represent a significant advance in our capability to map, monitor and manage coral reefs in Australia, supporting management and science in the conservation of the Great Barrier Reef, and, are applicable to other reefs globally.