Oregon Explorer News: Posts from January 2010

Tools: for Spatial Data Expert and Novice

For the natural resource professional with GIS experience, the new Oregon Spatial Data Library will provide a convenient way to find, access, and share geospatial data. It includes all available statewide “framework” data.  These serve as “base data” for a variety of Geographic Information System (GIS) applications.  Framework datasets include administrative boundaries, transportation, land use and ownership, water, hazards, and wetlands.  Currently, more than 200 datasets can be accessed and downloaded from the Oregon Spatial Data Library.

  • Users can select an area of interest from a map or by a location, select that area from the database, compress images for efficient transfer, and electronically transfer the files.
  • Oregon Hazards Data is currently “featured” on the site.  And from there, users can link to the Hazards Reporter tool and create reports of known hazards in specific areas.

The site, launched in November, is a partnership between Oregon State University Libraries, Institute for Natural Resources, and the Oregon Department of Administrative Services Geospatial Enterprise Office (DAS-GEO).  University of Oregon Libraries is also a collaborator, and will contribute additional geospatial datasets to the Oregon Spatial Data Library.

More on this at a later date, but if you need to locate spatial data for Oregon — give it a try at http://spatialdata.oregonexplorer.info.  But this begs the question:  Does the Oregon Explorer offer anything for a spatial data novice, like me?  Yes — mapping tools!

Mapping and other tools are associated with each Explorer site.  For now, let me just introduce you to the one you will find on the Oregon Explorer under “Maps.”

As a novice, one option I have is to investigate some ready-made mapping options (where a subject such as fish passage or water quality is predefined).  I need only indicate where to map.   The next option I have is the basic maps tool.  This lets me pick and choose from predefined information layers (e.g. Land Ownership & Coho Salmon, counties, etc.).  In both cases:

  1. I pick an address or place name OR select all of Oregon and then
  2. I view my map, decide if I want to add something else (a highway overlay; a topo map background) and then click on “create PDF” and “email” to myself or someone else.

If I want additional options, I can use the advanced mapping tool or use the link to a short mapping tools tutorial that will make me feel comfortable with mapping terminology and the use of the specifics of the advanced tool.

You can’t break the mapping tool, so use it and/or show it to others!