Online Mapping Applications

As many of you may know, I’m a land surveyor by training and I love maps. There are some really great free Online Mapping Applications available now. Here are a few that I use regularly in my works and have found quite useful. It’s too bad that they couldn’t collaborate on various conventions such as user front ends, baseline imagery, etc. Also, many of the systems show information available on other sites but perhaps not as well, for example you can see National Wetland Inventory wetlands on the USGS National Map Viewer, but not with as much utility as on the National Wetland Inventory Mapping System. Makes sense. While they’re all still useful, the learning curve is probably steeper than it has to be.

  • USGS National Map Viewer: One of the nice things about this application is the ability to scale reasonably accurate NAD83 elevations off it, and state plane coordinates. Lots of data layers to play with
  • US Drought Monitor Mapping System: Visualize drought and climate information through interactive mapping of information from NIDIS and its partners.
  • Maine Office of GIS: This site can be a little confusing to use because it’s got SO MUCH information available. One thing that makes it a little easier to use is the Digital Data Catalog makes most of it’s data available as a Google Earth layer via downloadable .kml files.
  • Qgis, A Free and Open Source Geographic Information System
  • FEMA Map Service Center: This and the next site are both Federal Emergency Management Agency Flood Mapping Services. The service center allows you to create a small map centered on your property showing the flood zone if any (unless you happen to be in Whitefield) which you can then download and print.
  • FEMA Mapping Information Platform: This site provides access to the National Map PLatform for flood maps and flood map information including lots of other information (LOMA or letter of map amendment for example) and the different zones, explanatory material, etc. Good stuff.
  • Google Earth: I can’t imagine there are people out there who haven’t played with Google Earth yet. Nuff said.

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