Rhode Island Geographic Information System (RIGIS) concentrates on publishing GIS data in data formats, such as shapefiles and JPEG 2000 files, which are readily usable by most GIS software. Thanks to the Environmental Data Center's Rhode Island Digital Atlas project, an increasing amount of RIGIS data can be easily viewed as online maps.
What does this mean for you?
You don't need to be a GIS expert to work with RIGIS data! The Rhode Island Digital Atlas has made it very easy to view online maps that are based upon authoritative GIS data available from RIGIS. Better yet, you can build a customized map of your own using Esri's ArcGIS Online map viewer using the same services that power the Atlas Maps. This blog article will get you started on building your own custom, online map.
First, please revisit our last blog article on how to access ArcGIS Online and log the site as a ArcGIS Online as a (free!) public user to explore Environmental Data Center (EDC) map services that feature RIGIS data.
Let’s explore Rhode Island and start building your own map
- First, change your basemap to Imagery (no labels).
- Click on the Add button and select the Search for Layers option.
- In the Search for Layers interface, search for the keyword RIGIS. All of our map services that feature RIGIS data have been tagged with "RIGIS" as a keyword.
- Search In ArcGIS Online – we are looking for services that have been shared within ArcGIS.com.
You will be presented with over 100 listings of map services.
Note: the is searching all services that are published with the keyword RIGIS. This will include all EDC map services that feature data from RIGIS... along with any other services that may have been tagged with this keyword. EDC map services that feature authoritative RIGIS data are published by the account "URIEDC_RIGIS." Be sure you are using these services if you want to ensure that you are using the most up-to-date and unaltered RIGIS data.
- You can narrow the list down to a particular topic of map, too. Type conservation in the find box. Only map services that both feature RIGIS data and are tagged with "conservation" are listed.
Click on the title of one of the map services. The pop-up shows a thumbnail of the map data and options to;
- Add to map
- see Item Details
- or Use as Basemap
- Owner: The owner of this map is URIEDC_RIGIS - this is the account the EDC uses to share services that feature authoritative RIGIS data.
- Summary - provides a brief description of the dataset.
- Choose Add to Map
- Additional map services may be added by simply clicking the Add hyperlink next to the data-listing.
- Click on when you are finished.
Explore the map
The layers you added will be listed in the contents panel. Each layer will have a check mark next to it; check and uncheck the layer to control its visibility in the map viewer panel. To see the legend associated with the data, change the panel view to Legend. To see the data listings, change the panel view to Content.
Save your map
Provide the required information: Title, Tags, Summary
Your map will be saved in the home folder of your account on ArcGIS.com. My account is amandevi.
There is so much more you can do with these services - we've merely scratched the surface! For example, if you would like to view these maps without having to create an ArcGIS Online account, check out the Rhode Island Digital Atlas for easy-to-use maps. The Atlas uses the same services we've been exploring in this article, just presented in the context of an easy-to-use, ready-to-go map application. For more about the Environmental Data Center's online map services and how to use take further advantage of geospatial technologies, check out URI's Geospatial Training Program.