Monday, June 07, 2010

GeoSUR - South America GIS Data Online

In order to build better understanding about South America and to support development planning activities that require the use of geographic information, GeoSUR Program launched for South American countries. It is a regional geographic website, developed by the Andean Development Bank (CAF) and the Pan-American Institute of Geography and History (PAIGH), with technical support from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) EROS Center (Earth Resources Observation and Science Center).

GeoSUR offers access to national maps posted on the Internet by more than thirty institutions in South America. Each of these institutions has implemented an interactive mapping service, a mechanism to provide access to their maps and other geographic data on the Internet. This is the first geographic portal that offers access to geographical data from institutions throughout South America, according to GSDI newsletter.

The second service, a Topographic Processing Service (TPS), helps create supranational seamless maps on slope, aspect, shaded relief and drainage basins, among others; and provide altitude profiles and visibility analysis for any selected point or area of South America. Data derived from the analysis are automatically generated on the Internet and are freely accessible. This is the first regional service that provides data derived from the 30 meter SRTM elevation model which is implemented in the world.

The third application developed by GeoSUR is an interactive map of South America that offers access to a wide range of spatial information, such as regional road maps, relief, settlements, hydrography, protected areas and ecosystems, as well as satellite imagery and infrastructure project information. The three above applications have been developed with technical support from the EROS Center.

Antonio Juan Sosa, Vice President of Infrastructure of the CAF, said, "Geographic information is a key to development planning and may improve investment decision-making processes in the region.”


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