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Posts Tagged ‘Data Portal’

Data Portals for the Chesapeake Bay reviewed

July 17, 2017 3 comments

The Chesapeake Bay, situated along the east coast of the United States, in part because it has long been a focus for environmental restoration, is also a rich source of geospatial data. One primary source is the Virginia Institute on Marine Science, which maintains a Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) resource.  It also includes an interactive GIS map.  The SAV maps and vegetation data contain information dating all the way back to 1971.

The reasons why VIMS maps the SAV is because this vegetation is one of the best barometers of the water quality; its beds filter polluted runoff, provide food for waterfowl, and provide habitat for blue crabs, juvenile rockfish (striped bass), and other aquatic species; the beds are associated with clear water, and their presence helps improve water quality.  Even if you are not interested in analyzing the vegetation per se, the site is an excellent resource for data and imagery on the Chesapeake Bay.

Some of my other recommended data sites in the region include the Chesapeake Bay Data Hub, the Maryland Open Map portal, (which we reviewed here), the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, Virginia’s open data portal, other Virginia portals, and the USGS’ Chesapeake Bay’s site.  Try these resources and we look forward to your comments below.

savmap

Portion of submerged aquatic vegetation imagery and mapped data from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

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IndianaMap: Data and Visualization for Indiana

June 4, 2017 3 comments

IndianaMap is a resource for visualizing and accessing spatial data for the US state of Indiana.   The data source contains elements that other provinces, regional, and state governments might wish to adopt because as I see it, they are incredibly useful to the data user.  In addition, I keep talking with people who state that such adoption has helped them build internal support for their organization’s mission, and recommend examining IndianaMap for that reason as well as a model for how it could work.

One of my favorite things about IndianaMap is that it contains a map viewer, a map gallery, and a layer gallery, linked right at the top of the user interface.   At least 75 layers exist in this resource at the time of this writing.  Two that I was particularly glad to see were the geology layers and the historical 1990s Digital Orthophotoquads.  New imagery at 1 foot spatial resolution is also available.  Yes, 1 foot!  Each of the layers can be examined in more detail, previewed, its metadata viewed, or downloaded for use in desktop GIS software. Layers as map services can also be examined in a web based client, or one can choose to add the layer to the interface’s own Map View. Once you have explored layers of interest, you can use the “Add Content” tool on IndianaMap to quickly add, remove, and manage each layer. Each layer can be examined and saved as a favorite.  Sure enough, after I had used the tool, revisiting the site showed me the layers I had favorited in “My layers” so I could resume my work from a few days ago, right away.

On the Spatial Reserves blog, we often feature sites with a particularly useful user interface.  IndianaMap definitely achieves high quality marks in this regard.  Give it a try!

 

indianamap

User Interface for the Indiana Map showing bedrock geology, karst springs, and selecting one of my favorite parts of Indiana’s geology–its limestone.

New LandViewer Tool for Quickly Finding and Analyzing Satellite Imagery

May 7, 2017 2 comments

The LandViewer tool and data portal quickly and painlessly allows you to browse and access satellite imagery for the planet.  The tool, developed by the Earth Observing System Inc.’s Max Polyakov, currently features Landsat 8 and Sentinel 2 imagery with more image sets soon to arrive.  Landsat 8 carries two instruments: The Operational Land Imager (OLI) sensor includes refined heritage bands, along with three new bands: a deep blue band for coastal/aerosol studies, a shortwave infrared band for cirrus detection, and a Quality Assessment band. The Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) provides two thermal bands. Sentinel 2 is an Earth observation mission developed by the ESA as part of the Copernicus Programme to perform terrestrial observations in support of services such as forest monitoring, land cover changes detection, and natural disaster management.

Using the LandViewer tool, you can quickly zoom on an interactive web map to your area of interest.  You can filter on geography and time, including cloudiness, sun angle, and other parameters. At the time of this writing, 18 filters such as Atmospheric Removal, Panchromatic, NDVI, Thermal Infrared, False Color, and more, are available so that you can obtain the band combinations most suitable to your analysis in the areas of agriculture, geology, or other applications. A very helpful image interpretation screen is available to help you choose the combination that are best for your analysis goals.  You can do some contrast stretching in the web tool itself.  Then after signing in to the site, you can download the images in GeoTIF for further analysis using your favorite GIS tools.

The tool was also reviewed on the Geoawesomeness web site, and I wholeheartedly agree with their sentiments expressed–this is one of the most useful and fastest satellite image portals I have used. It is useful for research but also, given its ease of use, can even be used effectively to teach concepts of remote sensing.  Give it a try and let us know in the comments section what you think.

landsat_viewer.JPG

Landsat scenes with band combinations possible for an area on the southwest side of Costa Rica.

 

New Alaska Elevation Data Now Available

October 9, 2016 Leave a comment

Exciting news from the Arctic! Version 2 of the Arctic DEM has been released. Topographic elevation of the Arctic can now be viewed and analyzed like never before. This release extends the detailed 2 meter Alaska elevation data with additional 2m data for Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land, as well as preliminary 8 meter data for the entire Arctic.  Additional detailed 2 meter elevation data will be released in quarterly installments over 2017 until the arctic data is complete.  This is the result of a partnership between Esri, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, the National Science Foundation, and the Polar Geospatial Center at the University of Minnesota.

In September 2016, the US at the White House hosted an Arctic Ministerial meeting, with over 20 countries represented, where this data was showcased and new commitments on data provisions were sought. The goal of the meeting and the new data is to help people better understand, adapt to, and address the changing conditions in the Arctic.

The four key themes include:

  • Understanding Arctic-Science Challenges and their Regional and Global Implications.
  • Strengthening and Integrating Arctic Observations and Data Sharing.
  • Applying Expanded Scientific Understanding of the Arctic to Build Regional Resilience and Shape Global Responses.
  • Using Arctic Science as a Vehicle for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education and Citizen Empowerment.

To access the data, start  with the NGA Arctic Support story map here and spend time on the ‘Arctic Digital Elevation Model (ArcticDEM) ’ tab.  The embedded apps provide interactive access to the elevation. The data is described in an article here from Medium.com and an article from National Geographic here.  This story map illustrates the visualizations that can be generated with the click of the mouse for any user selected area, and a swipe story map explains the background on Digital Elevation Models and compares the new elevation data to the older elevation data by providing the ability to swipe between the maps. The DEMs have been computed from high resolution stereo Digital Globe satellite imagery.

The DEM Explorer is a web app that allows the data user to zoom to any area and review different visualizations such as hillshade, slope, aspect, contours. As the data is temporal in many areas, users can see how the data is changing over time and summarize elevation change for a selected areas.  The Change Viewer is a simpler app that allows a user to click a point and graphically view the historical elevation of that location. Access to these services is also available in a wide range of applications through the Arctic DEM Group in ArcGIS Online.   Most of the apps use the polar projections to reduce distortions which would become severe in generic mapping applications.  Finally, a video tour of the story map highlights many of the above products and services.

The actual data are available–not just press releases, and the data will be of great benefit for anyone doing research in the Arctic, as the map below should make very clear.

ak_data.JPG

Alaska DEMs showing the heretofore available data (left) and the new data (right).

Update on Global Forest Watch

A few years ago we wrote about the geospatial data available from the Global Forest Watch from WRI.  Global Forest Watch (GFW) is a dynamic forest monitoring system that provides aims to provide “timely and reliable” information about the state of the world’s forests. Using a combination of satellite imagery, open access data, and crowd sourced information, GFW builds on earlier projects such as the Forest Frontiers Initiative and the Forest Atlases.  These are included in the case studies that we highlighted in our book, The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data, which promotes the sustainable management of forest resources.

One way to access the geospatial data available from GFW is to access the interactive map, select the layers you are interested in, and download them (shown below).  The layers are organized into broad categories such as forest change, land cover, land use, conservation, and people, but the interface is easy to navigate.  Besides the Graphical User Interface improvements since our first review of the site, many of the GFW layers can now be streamed via ArcGIS Online.  To access the layers in this way, use the Open Data Portal  and you will see the option for featured data sets or all data. At the time of this writing, 107 layers were available, many of which can be opened directly in ArcGIS Online.  API links to GeoJSON URLs are also provided.

I did find a few data links, such as mining, that point to “not found” – but by and large, the site is wonderfully functional and has nicely expanded its capabilities since we first reviewed it.  We would be interested in your feedback in the comments section, below.

gfw

DataPortals.org: A Global Catalogue of Public Domain Data Portals

May 17, 2016 1 comment

The DataPortals.org site, hosted by the Open Knowledge International organisation in conjunction with the LOD2 project, provides a comprehensive repository of over 500 open data portals. The registered portals, published by local, regional and national governments, international organisations and a number of Non Government Organisations (NGOs), provide access to a variety of spatial data sources including administrative boundaries, land use, economic activity and environmental indicators.

DataPortals_org

All data sets referenced by the DataPortals catalogue, including those that form part of a database collection, are published under the Open Data Commons Public Domain Dedication & Licence. The data sets are available to download in a variety of formats including .xls, JSON/GEOJSON and shapefile.

 

 

European Data Portal Launched

March 7, 2016 1 comment

After three months in beta, the European Data Portal has been launched. The portal is set to replace the publicdata.eu site and hosts over 400,000 datasets in a variety of formats including shape, csv, xls and ogc:wms. For the spatial datasets, the site provides a dataset extent visualisation and filter by location option, against a basemap of OpenStreetMap data.

Visualising data

The portal also provides a metadata quality assessment section, with reports on a variety of metrics including popular formats and the top source data catalogs.

Metadata reports

One of the innovative inclusions in the new site is the accompanying training companion and e-learning programme, with sessions covering licensing, platforms, formats, linked data and data quality. The European Commission and partners involved in the development of the site have recognised that it’s no longer just about providing access to data, it’s also about providing the necessary information to support the best use of the data.