From New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
-- New natural resource maps and other environmental information are part of a recent expansion of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) website, Commissioner Pete Grannis announced today.
The Mapping Gateway located at http://www.dec.ny.gov/pubs/212.html provides DEC's partners and the public with a range of services that consolidate and enhance accessibility to DEC's extensive geographic information on a large variety of environmental topics.
The Mapping Gateway combines existing web mapping applications and map collections with new offerings, including a full-featured, interactive data inventory and map viewer.
-- Hunters and hikers can view printable maps of Wildlife Management Areas and state forests, as well as explore the State lands Interactive Mapper to create custom maps of recreational trails on DEC lands.
-- Anglers can explore many of the state's waterbodies and view the depth contours, water surface area, mean depth, and available fish species.
-- Birders can locate DEC-designated Bird Conservation Areas across the state and learn more about the species and habitat characteristics of a particular site.
-- Residents can use an interactive viewer to find locations of many of the known, active contaminated sites being addressed by DEC in their community.
-- GIS professionals will find descriptive information about how, when and by whom a specific set of data was collected and how the data is formatted and accessed.
The map viewer and other Geographic Information System (GIS) tools will provide the public with important location-specific information about many of the programs DEC manages, such as the locations of brownfields, dams and critical habitats. The Mapping Gateway will also provide private experts with access to several environmental databases developed by DEC staff.
DEC has been using GIS technologies since the 1980's as part of the routine work done to monitor and track environmental conditions around New York. As a member of the New York State GIS Data Sharing Cooperative, DEC also provides access to its geographic data via the New York State GIS Clearinghouse, managed by the state Office for Technology.
Commissioner Grannis said: "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. The DEC relies on geographic data to enhance decision making and strengthen the services we offer, and we look forward to sharing that information with the public."
Among DEC's new Mapping Gateway features is a "Virtual Globe Data" link where visitors can access information such as lake contour maps for selected waterbodies statewide. After downloading virtual globe software such as Google Earth, this section enables visitors to view interactive aerial representations of DEC Bird Conservation Areas, Environmental Remediation Sites, New York State Inventory of Dams, and a detailed map of Northern - Southern Hunting Zone line.
Users can also browse the available GIS data by category. More than 35 GIS data sets are available on the Gateway with new topics being added regularly. In addition to enhancing the general public's access to DEC information, the Mapping Gateway also provides GIS professionals with valuable insight into the data sets collected by DEC and has the capability to display data from other organizations (EPA, USGS, etc.). In addition, by taking advantage of the hundreds of existing online data sources, map viewer users can view DEC data within the geographic context of a diverse range of local, state, and national data sets.