Abu Dhabi Environment Agency launches Enviro-Portal
As we state in our book The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data, areas around the world where not long ago it was very difficult for data users to obtain data are now opening up some of their data archives. One example is in Abu Dhabi, whose government is an extensive user of GIS technology. The Environment Agency Abu Dhabi recently launched an “Enviro-Portal”, announced during the Esri Middle East and Africa User Conference on GIS Technology solutions at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition. This portal (http://enviroportal.ead.ae) offers access to environmental data such as geology, soils, flora, fauna, marine habitats, and protected zones within Abu Dhabi.
Some of the links offer historical data back to the 1990s. The site is available both in Arabic and in English. The “browse” function offers a straightforward way of offering the data, similar to a view of folders on one’s own computer. The metadata on the site is quite useful, and the data areavailable in a variety of formats, depending on the data type, from design files to shapefiles and geodatabases. On the “Download” tab, data users can download data by providing an email address. The site also offers a map gallery, from which the data user can search by theme but it also offers very helpful searching by polygon, line, or point buffer, shown in the image below.
As with any data portal, unique features of this portal require the data user to spend some time getting comfortable with the features and options. However, the wealth of data themes here makes it worth spending time with, and for a fascinating and rapidly changing part of the planet.