Geo-spatial Tools

BASINS Climate Assessment Tool (CAT)

US EPA’s BASINS can be used to assess the coupled effects of climate and land use change, and to guide the development of effective management responses.

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Benthic Cover Data

Benthic cover data captures the location, extent, general character, and spatial relationships of biological communities in shallow nearshore areas. These data are useful for conservation planning, marine protected area sighting, and environmental monitoring by serving as a baseline for assessing potential climate change impacts to benthic environments.

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CanVis

CanVis is a simple software program that allows users to visualize potential impacts of coastal development or climate change (inundation, SLR) allowing conservation planners and stakeholders to better understand the impacts of their decisions.

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Climate Change Resource Center

The United States Forest Service’s (USFS) Climate Change Resource Center (CCRC) is a collection of forest management resources. It includes an extensive library, climate change and carbon tools, webinars and short courses by topic area and ecosystem, as well as an introductory webinar for new users.

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Coastal County Snapshots

Coastal County Snapshots turn complex data into accessible stories, complete with charts and graphs, to support climate change communication and planning.

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Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper

The Coastal Flood Exposure Mapper supports users undertaking a community-based approach to assessing coastal hazard risks and vulnerabilities by providing maps that show people, places, and natural resources exposed to coastal flooding. This spatial visualization tool shows maps of people, places, and natural resources exposed to coastal flood hazards including FEMA flood zones, shallow coastal flooding, sea level rise, storm surge.

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Coastal Inundation Mapping Primer

NOAA’s Coastal Inundation Mapping Primer offers a four-step process for inundation mapping that includes: obtaining and preparing elevation data, preparing water level information, mapping inundation, and visualizing inundation.

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Coastal Inundation Toolkit

NOAA’s Coastal Inundation Toolkit assists users with planning for inundation. The Toolkit is designed to help communities determine their coastal flooding vulnerability and what steps they can take to reduce this risk and can be a valuable resource for incorporating climate change impacts into conservation planning.

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Coastal Lidar

LIDAR —Light Detection and Ranging — is a remote sensing method used to examine the surface of the Earth. Coastal Lidar reflects elevation information, which is a primary data consideration for management activities in the coastal zone, including conservation.

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Coastal Resilience

The Nature Conservancy’s Coastal Resilience Network provides geographically targeted resources to address ecological and socio-economic risks of coastal hazards through raising awareness, assessing risk, identifying choices, and taking action.

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Coastal Resilience Index

The Coastal Resilience Index tool helps communities examine how prepared they are for storms and storm recovery. To complete the assessment, community leaders can get together and use the tool to guide discussion about their community’s resilience to coastal hazards.

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Coastal Vulnerability Maps and Study – U.S. East Coast and Texas

Coastal Vulnerability Maps and Study shows the elevation of coastal areas from Massachusetts to Florida as well as Texas. A sea level rise planning study which integrates information related to land use, zoning, and anticipated development to determine the future likelihood of shore protection and prevention of inland wetland migration is also included.

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COMET-Farm

COMET-Farm is a conservation planning tool used to assess a farm’s greenhouse gas balance. This tool enables users to generate a report to compare alternative management strategies and to what extent alternate scenarios would provide carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions reduction.

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Data Registry

Find and download data for your coastal management needs at NOAA’s Data Access Viewer. Available data sets include elevation, land cover, hazards and climate, imagery, economic, and more.

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Environmental Atlas

EPA’s Environmental Atlas is a decision support tool that provides data and mapping to assist a wide range of audiences, including planners, educators, and researchers.

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Gap Analysis Project (GAP) Land Cover Data

The USGS GAP Land Cover Data Set includes detailed vegetation and land use patterns for the continental United States. The data set incorporates the Ecological System classification system developed by NatureServe to represent natural and semi-natural land cover.

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Habitat Priority Planner (HPP)

Habitat Priority Planner (HPP) is a geographic information system (GIS) tool for identifying and prioritizing areas for conservation, restoration and land use planning. The tool can be used in conjunction with climate change data to assess potential impacts on fragmentation/connectivity and prioritize areas for conservation based on those impacts.

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Integrated Climate and Land Use Scenarios (ICLUS) GIS Tool

Integrated Climate and Land Use Scenarios (ICLUS) GIS Tool aims to develop future land use scenarios based on potential trajectories for population growth, greenhouse gas emissions, and socio-economic changes, as used by climate change modelers.

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InVEST Models

InVEST models are based on production functions that define how changes in an ecosystem’s structure and function are likely to affect the flows and values of ecosystem services across a land- or a seascape.

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Lake Level Viewer

NOAA”s Lake level viewer Great Lakes helps users visualize lake level changes that range from six feet above to six feet below historical long-term average water levels.

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Land Cover Atlas (C-CAP)

The Coastal Change Analysis Program’s (C-CAP) Land Cover Atlas is a web-based tool that explores land cover change over time at the county level.

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National Clearinghouse and Data Portals Collection

Environmental and natural resource data access points from many areas of the U.S. are provided in this resource from NOAA’s Digital Coast. Data access and visualization are usually provided through an online mapping interface or website. The types of data available vary but may include layers for statewide boundaries, transportation, imagery, elevation, recreation, and geographic names, among others. This geospatial data can be helpful in supporting initial resource mapping for conservation planning purposes.

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National Conservation Easement Database Portal

The National Conservation Easement Database (NCED) is a national database of conservation easement information that compiles records from land trusts and public agencies throughout the United States, and aims to help agencies, land trusts, and other organizations plan more strategically and identify opportunities for collaboration.

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National Estuary Program Mapper (NEPmap)

The National Estuary Program (NEP) is a network of voluntary community-based programs that safeguards the health of important coastal ecosystems across the country. The National Estuary Program Mapper (NEPmap) is an interactive map that allows users to obtain detailed information about Natural Estuary Program Study Areas, including watershed boundaries and land ownership information, as well as soil types, development status, impervious cover, population, and water quality data.

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National Map

The National Map (formerly “National Atlas”) is a Department of Interior map-making tool that helps researchers analyze issues related to climate change, carbon in the environment, biodiversity loss, and changes in ecosystems.

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National Wetlands Inventory

The National Wetlands Inventory uses topographical maps to show wetlands and deepwater habitats.

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Open-source Nonpoint Source Pollution and Erosion Comparison Tool (OpenNSPECT)

Open-source Nonpoint Source Pollution and Erosion Comparison Tool (OpenNSPECT) is a GIS tool that helps conservation practitioners quickly and easily identify land areas that generate high sediment and nonpoint source pollutant loads. OpenNSPECT’s scenario analysis functionality allows people to test the relative effectiveness of different land cover management options on sediment and pollutant yields.

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Regional Land Cover (C-CAP)

Land cover maps depict where and how much of a region is covered by forests, wetlands, development, and other natural and man-made features. Documenting changes in the landscape can alert communities to emerging trends, information that is useful when predicting and assessing cumulative impacts in the light of climate stressors, such as sea level rise.

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Sea Level Rise Viewer

NOAA’s Sea Level Rise and Coastal Flooding Impacts Viewer allows users to view several sea level rise scenarios and associated impacts to coastal wetlands, which can help land trusts prioritize areas for conservation. The viewer is available for all coastal states and territories except for Alaska.

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Spatial Data Visualization Tools

Resource list of key spatial data visualization tools.

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Stakeholder Engagement Strategies for Participatory Mapping

NOAA’s Stakeholder Engagement Strategies for Participatory Mapping engages stakeholders in a mapping process to identify their resources, perspectives, and priorities. Through sharing this information, stakeholders become part of decision-making, and the process of creating maps can become as important to building community consensus as the maps themselves.

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The Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) View

The Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) is an online tool that allows the public to view simulations of sea level rise. This program is designed to help people understand the potential impacts of climate change on sea levels. This web browser-based application displays map pairs of the same area, each at different sea levels.

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The Shoreline Management Toolbox

Shoreline erosion is a natural process. However, sea level rise and poorly planned shoreline development projects can accelerate natural erosion rates. NOAA’s Shoreline Management Toolbox presents alternative approaches for human uses and development near the shoreline.

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TNC Climate Wizard

The Nature Conservancy’s Climate Wizard was developed by TNC scientists along with partners at the University of Washington and the University of Southern Mississippi. Climate Wizard aims to make climate data more widely available in a user-friendly format to anyone that wants to understand the potential impacts of climate change. This free interactive visualization tool allows users to drill down in both time and space and see the climate change that has occurred to date and the climate change expected to come at a resolution of 12 or 50-square kilometers anywhere in the world.

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U.S. Geological Survey Climate Projection Portal

The U.S. Geological Survey Climate Project Portal is an interactive viewer that shows maps based on future projections of temperature and precipitation from a group of “statistically downscaled” global climate models.

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U.S. Interagency Elevation Inventory

The U.S. Interagency Elevation Inventory provides a comprehensive listing of known high-accuracy topographic and bathymetric data for the U.S. and its territories. Elevation data is necessary to develop coastal elevation models and are critical components when looking at sea level rise, coastal flooding, beach nourishment, erosion, or any other processes that occur within the land-water interface.

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US Climate Resilience Toolkit

The U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit provides scientific tools, information, and expertise to help people manage their climate-related risks and opportunities, and improve their resilience to extreme events.

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