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What's the status of EnviroAtlas?

Images of ecosystems and their benefits

Current status

Update Bulletin

The EnviroAtlas Update Bulletin highlights new content, tools, and functionality, gives helpful hints for using EnviroAtlas, and includes examples of how people are using our data.

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EnviroAtlas was released in May 2014: See the press release. In December 2014, Secretary of Interior Sally Jewel announced EnviroAtlas as the ecosystem services resource hub of the Ecoinformatics-based Open Resources and Machine Accessibility (EcoINFORMA) initiative. EcoINFORMA is aimed at expanding the availability and interoperability of Federal and non-Federal biodiversity, ecosystems, and ecosystem services information for use by researchers, the public, and government decision-makers. It was recommended by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST).

Development plans for EnviroAtlas extend out to 2017, with regular updates taking place as they become available. There are many improvements in the form of additional data, analysis tools, and increased functionality both planned and underway. A list of the currently available data can be accessed on the EnviroAtlas data webpage or downloaded as a .pdf (22pp, 210k, About PDF), or an .xls file.

The newest updates to EnviroAtlas include the following:

  • New communities: Fresno, CA; Green Bay, WI; New Bedford, MA; and Woodbine, IA.
  • Change Symbology function: Allows users to change how a selected national map looks by changing the classification method and breaks.
  • Identify function: When a map layer is visible, allows users to select a specific 12-digit-HUC and get the associated value for that HUC.
  • Elevation tool: Allows users to draw a line across an area or select a specific point on the map to see the elevation profile for that area.
  • Users can add their own shapefile to the map.
  • Managing Clean Air with Roadway Tree Buffers is a new use case that is available to help demonstrate potential uses for EnviroAtlas.

Planned updates

A selection of planned improvements, with the projected completion dates in parentheses, is below.

Content
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  • New communities, including Austin, TX; Des Moines, IA; Memphis, TN; New York, NY; Paterson, NJ; and Portland, OR (Dec 2015). Additional communities will be added yearly, with the goal of over 50 communities by 2017.
  • Additional data for the national component (Ongoing). The 12-digit-HUC boundaries will be updated to those used in the NHD Plus version 2 dataset (2015). All national data layers will be updated using NLCD 2011 land cover data (2015).
  • Additional data for the community component (Ongoing). Ecosystem services layers include habitat connectivity, street views of natural areas and other green space, and shaded streetscapes. Other data related to sustainable and healthy communities include land-use mix, street intersection density, and commute times.
  • Maps that estimate future scenarios based on land use/land cover projection data and future climate scenario projection data (2015).
  • Use Cases that provide descriptive examples of how to use EnviroAtlas data (2015 and ongoing).
Analysis Tools
  • Navigate HUC Catchments Tools: Users will be able to select any 12-digit-HUC and navigate up- or down-stream from that HUC, highlighting the full stream network (2015).
  • The ability to graph or analyze the relationship between selected map layers for selected 12-digit HUCs or census block groups (2016).
  • In a statistically robust manner, combine multiple data attributes into single index values that can be used in various analyses, visualization, and graphing tools. Allows user control over variable weighting (2016)
  • A tool to allow the user to calculate metrics for any spatial unit of interest (2017).
  • An interactive tool to allow the user to evaluate alternative future scenarios (2017).
Functionality
  • Simultaneously view multiple maps (2, 3, or 4) that are spatially synchronized (Dec 2015).
  • Create a user profile that will allow you to upload your own data, save map sessions, and create bookmarks for specific areas (2016).
  • Search for specific map layers (2015).
  • Establish a personal user community to share locally added data and map sessions and connect with other Atlas users (2016).
  • Alternative methods and formats for downloading data (Dec 2015).
  • The ability to select an area by drawing a box or by clicking on a spatial unit (e.g., county, state, watershed, census block group) and analyze or download user-selected data (2016).
  • The ability to select spatial units by attribute (e.g., selecting all census block groups with high population over 65) and analyze or download user-selected data (Spring 2016).
  • Select a subwatershed (12-digit HUC) or census block group and generate a summary report for that selected area (2017).

As the project progresses, this webpage will be updated with the latest news on EnviroAtlas.

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