Friday, May 30, 2008

Interactive collection of maps helpful to nature lovers

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recently unveiled a collection of maps and a searchable catalog of geographic information. Named Mapping Gateway, a new page on DEC’s web site, all sorts of data are put into easy-to-use and interactive formats.

“Whether it’s managing the water quality of the Great Lakes or supporting the cleanup of a brownfield site, every program managed by DEC deals in some way with the space we live in,” said DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis. The Mapping Gateway project features a variety of Geographic Information System (GIS) tools, including a collection of printable and interactive online maps.

In addition, the Virtual Globe Data feature allows users to access information such as contour maps for selected locations. The user can download virtual global software such as Google Earth to view interactive aerial representations of DEC bird conservation areas, environmental remediation sites, state inventory of dams and other features.

Mapping Gateway also offers the Geodata Inventory, listed on the site as “a catalog that provides descriptive information about how, when, and by whom a specific set of data was collected and how the data is formatted and accessed.” The new features will serve anglers, birders, hikers and hunters, who will be able to find detailed measurements and ecological information for specific locations throughout the state. Residents can find locations of contaminated sites in their community and find out about DEC cleanup efforts there.



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