Interactive Maps to Cryospheric Data

A session at FOSS4G North America 2013

  • Joseph Oldenburg

Wednesday 22nd May, 2013

11:00am to 11:30am (CST)

The Operation IceBridge mission, initiated in 2009, collects airborne remote sensing measurements to bridge the gap between NASA’s Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat) mission and the upcoming ICESat-2 mission. Often aircraft are able to collect more varied and larger amounts of data than satellites. For IceBridge flights, these data are stored at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado - Boulder, and made accessible to the public via the IceBridge data portal (nsidc.org/icebridge/portal/).

Usability and robust implementation are focal points of NSIDC’s development on the portal. The design features an interactive mapbased interface layered with flightlines derived from aircraft GPS. The user may manipulate the maps available to narrow down and identify data they seek based on geopgraphic and temporal properties.

Included in the interface are standard tools to manipulate the maps, but the team has also developed custom capabilities designed for the unique purposes of the data portal such as specifying a date range for flight data. With this blend, the portal is easily navigable both by users new to the data and experienced researchers.

The maps and other features of the portal are constructed with a service-oriented architecture. An in-house MapServer instance provides maps, flightlines, and other layers. Instrument data are provided through a custom, in-house service provider. This architecture promotes re-use of existing tools within NSIDC software development, and open accessibility by outside data consumers. For example, NSIDC’s MapServer instance also provides the map layers for NASA’s Reverb data portal.

Use of open source software, such as MapServer, allows us to leverage the use of standard tools natural to the user, while providing the flexibility to customize capabilities for our specific needs.

About the speaker

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Joseph Oldenburg

National Snow and Ice Data Center at University of Colorado - Boulder

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Time 11:00am11:30am CST

Date Wed 22nd May 2013

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