Arctic GIS | Welcome and Introduction
Arctic researchers have recommended, in a number of
contexts, a coordinated effort linking data resources
across geographic and disciplinary boundaries in the
Arctic in order to advance a wide variety of research
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and related practices such as distributed data sharing and collaboration, standards development, and metadata documentation (Geospatial Information Infrastructure, or GII) provide the tools and concepts to meet the needs for enhanced data analysis and coordination.
Circumarctic GIS EffortsThe needs of arctic researchers provided the impetus for a workshop held in January 2001, when a group of over 100 GIS and GII users and developers met to discuss the needs, advantages and future directions for coordinating improved GII for the Arctic. More information about this workshop and the resulting document Recommendations for a Geographic Information Infrastructure to Support Arctic Research: Outcomes of the Arctic GIS Workshop can be found here. Recommendations in that report are guiding ongoing efforts to improve arctic GII.
In October 2003, a meeting of opportunity was held in Seattle, Washington to gather additional input for implementing recommendations from the 2001 report. See the 2003 Arctic GIS Planning meeting pages for a summary of this meeting.
Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) for Scientific Research - White Paper (720K - PDF)
Regional GIS EffortsCertain regions of the Arctic are the subject of intense research activities, resulting in extensive collections of geospatial data sets. Groups of researchers are coalescing to identify needs and develop ideas for combining resources or filling in data gaps in these areas.
For example, a group of people with a common focus on the North Slope of Alaska convened a meeting in October 2003 to discuss ongoing projects, available resources, needs, and potential collaborations. See the 2003 North Slope GIS meeting pages for more information. Regional efforts such as this could form the basis of an integrated network of geospatial efforts across the Arctic.
Research Logistics and Decision SupportGeospatial display of information such as logistics resources and research locations provides a valuable decision support tool for research planning, coordination, and reporting. For the National Science Foundation, spatial display of sponsored research locations and facilities is essential to reporting about funded projects. Examples of current activities related to research logistics include the Arctic Logistics Information and Support (ALIAS) system and the interactive maps of NSF-supported Arctic projects developed by VECO Polar Resources. Several GIS-related projects to provide tools to support research decision-making and planning in the Arctic are currently emerging.
This website includes:
- Links to the Arctic GIS workshops discussed above, including workshop reports and summaries, powerpoint presentations, and agendas:
- WebLinks pages -- General GIS Links and Maps & Data Links pages with annotated lists of websites relevant to Arctic GII
- News and Events -- Latest news and events related to Arctic GIS and GII
The Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) has developed these web pages on behalf of the National Science Foundation's Office of Polar Programs. Potential future website developments, depending on community need, might include items such as: expansion of weblinks list, a searchable interface of arctic data providers, a Frequently Asked Questions page, a listing of funding opportunities for arctic GIS, and other related products and services that would advance further development of Arctic GII.
We welcome your input and feedback on all aspects of Arctic GII. You may contact Helen Wiggins, ARCUS Director of Programs, with any suggestions or questions.