Arctic Web Map

Arctic Web Map

Arctic Web Map (AWM) is an Arctic-specific web mapping tool allowing researchers to customize map projections for scientifically accurate visualization and analysis, a function that is critical for arctic research but missing in existing web mapping platforms. It provides a visually appealing tool for education and outreach to a wider audience.

Arctic Web Map has two components: An Arctic-focused tile server, and a Leaflet-based client library. By providing tiles in multiple Arctic projections, data can be more accurately visualized compared to most Mercator projected map tiles.

The client library, PolarMap.js, is designed to be easy to use and easy to extend. It does this by providing a simple wrapper for building a typical Leaflet map, and also by providing base classes that can be customized to build a web map for your specific situation. Please see the PolarMap.js API for more information on how to get started.

Into the Okavango 2015

The Okavango Database is a growing record of data generated by the explorers and scientists on their 120 day expedition to the Okavango Delta. The database encompasses wildlife sightings, tweets, audio recordings and images taken by the participants, as well as sensor measurements capturing things like temperature, pH levels, and heart rates. The intention of the Okavango Database API is to share the data in almost real-time as it’s uploaded, so that people all over the world can follow the journey as it unfolds. It also allows for others to use the data for their own purposes.

What Genetically Modified Crops are Currently Being Grown and Where?

From The Royal Society

In 2015, GM crops were grown in 28 countries and on 179.7 million hectares – that is over 10% of the world’s arable land and equivalent to seven times the land area of the UK. The USA, Brazil and Argentina are the leading producers. There are currently no GM crops being grown commercially in the UK although scientists are carrying out controlled trials.

The GM crops grown commercially included: potato (USA), squash/pumpkin (USA) alfalfa (USA), aubergine (Bangladesh), sugar beet (USA, Canada), papaya (USA and China), oilseed rape (4 countries), maize (corn) (17 countries), soya beans (11 countries) and cotton (15 countries).

GM crops were first introduced in the USA in 1994 with the Flavr Savr tomato, which had been genetically modified to slow its ripening process, delaying softening and rotting.

To read more:



Methane and Carbon Dioxide Levels Still Rising

From Earth Imaging Journal

May 23, 2016

Maps show atmospheric levels of methane from 2003-2005 and 2008-2010, showing  increased concentrations in the latter dataset (in red). (Credit: IUP, University of Bremen/SRON/JPL/ESA/DLR)

Maps show atmospheric levels of methane from 2003-2005 and 2008-2010, showing increased concentrations in the latter dataset (in red). (Credit: IUP, University of Bremen/SRON/JPL/ESA/DLR)

Satellite readings show that atmospheric methane and carbon dioxide are continuing to increase despite global efforts to reduce emissions. Methane concentrations were somewhat constant until 2007, but since then have increased about 0.3 percent per year, whereas global carbon dioxide levels continue to rise at about 0.5 percent per year.

The results, presented at the Living Planet Symposium in Prague, combine data from the European Space Agency’s Envisat satellite and Japan’s GoSat mission. The upcoming Sentinel-5P mission for Europe’s Copernicus program is set to continue data collection on methane and other components of atmospheric chemistry by scanning the whole globe every day.

“For the future, Sentinel-5P will be very important, in particular because of its very dense, high-resolution observations of atmospheric methane, which have the potential to detect and quantify the emissions of important methane-emission hotspots such as oil and gas fields,” noted Michael Buchwitz from the Institute of Environmental Physics of the University of Bremen in Germany.

The atmospheric data products cover 2003-2014 and are available at


A New Age of GEOINT

NGA Driector reflects on GEOINT’s past, charts course for its future.

By Matt Alderton  May 16, 2016

What do Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln have in common with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)? A lot, actually, according to NGA Director Robert Cardillo, who used the celebrated American leaders to illustrate the continued evolution of geospatial intelligence during his keynote address Monday morning at GEOINT 2016.

“Seventy-five years ago, the Mt. Rushmore National Memorial was dedicated in the Black Hills of South Dakota,” Cardillo said. “It was a phenomenal achievement of art and science resulting in an iconic memorial to four great Americans … So let’s use these four remarkable Americans as a framework to look at our progress.”

During his first address as director of NGA at the GEOINT 2015 Symposium, Cardillo introduced a new NGA Strategy focused on four distinct pillars: people, partners, profession, and value. Because he would have been an avid NGA customer, President Washington, Cardillo told the audience, personifies value.

“Enabling customer success is what compels [NGA] every day. We’re driven forward by our fear of failing them. They—you—are our reason for being,” Cardillo said, stressing the importance of NGA’s GEOINT Services initiative in creating customer value. GEOINT Services, the Intelligence Community’s enterprise-wide GEOINT delivery platform that spans all security domains, is on track to deliver geospatial content fully in the cloud by the end of 2017.

When it does, NGA will be even closer to achieving his vision of succeeding “in the open,” according to Cardillo.

Continue reading A New Age of GEOINT

Embracing Commercial Space-NRO Director Betty Sapp

talks commercial launch, small sats, and new contracting methods.

by Warren Ferster  May 18, 2016

Trajectory Magazine

The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) is taking full advantage of emerging commercial space and information technology capabilities including launch, NRO Director Betty Sapp declared in a Wednesday keynote at GEOINT 2016.

NRO already has contracted for launches from SpaceX, Sapp said, but did not provide any details of the missions since much of NRO’s work is classified. Founded by celebrity entrepreneur Elon Musk, SpaceX recently broke United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) longtime monopoly on the U.S. national security launch business by winning a contract to launch an Air Force GPS satellite. ULA, a Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture, declined to bid on that contract.

Sapp praised SpaceX for having success with what she characterized as an “unconventional” approach to satellite launch. SpaceX’s workhorse Falcon 9 rocket has a first stage powered by nine relatively small engines, a design scheme that raised skepticism before the rocket ran off a string of successful missions.

“We have bought launches from SpaceX—they’re a great partner for us,” Sapp said, adding the company has “challenged the conventional wisdom in the launch industry with great success.”

Launch is just one of the areas in which NRO is leveraging commercial investment and innovation. The agency is also taking advantage of the small satellite revolution, which coupled with the emergence of low-cost launch options is enabling missions NRO previously would not undertake, Sapp said.

The NRO is known for building large, unique, and very complex and expensive satellites to carry out its missions. But Sapp said the agency is now flying satellites of all sizes, including cube sats. Although the NRO initially used cube sats as a low-cost means of testing promising technologies in space, it is now using them for operational missions, Sapp said.

Continue reading Embracing Commercial Space-NRO Director Betty Sapp

Anatomy of a Web Map


This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Anatomy of a Web Map

Web maps are like cars. It’s easy to appreciate a nice looking web map, but most people don’t need to know about everything that’s going on under the hood. Just like when buying car, however, if you understand the basics of how a web map works you’ll be in a much better position to make decisions when building a new one.

Users expect web maps to be everywhere now, in their car, on their watch, on yourWordPress web site, in your FileMaker database and anywhere else you present them with mappable data.

This is the first post in a 6 post series which will go through each major component of a modern web map. With an understanding of web map essentials you’ll be ready to make important mapping decisions for your website or application.


Continue reading Anatomy of a Web Map