18 February 2011

Atlas of the Biosphere

This amazing FREE GIS data portal is hosted by the University of Wisconsin - Madison. The objective of this site is to gather and deliver as much information about the environment as possible. The Data and Maps sections contain “ready-to-download” geographically explicit data broken down into four general categories: Humans, Land Use, Ecosystems, and Water Resources. The Schematics section looks at the various resource flows and pools that make up individual Earth systems.

Mapping the Biosphere
In this section of the website you will find maps of environmental variables. Feel free to download anything and everything. If you use anything from the Atlas in a publication, please credit the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Data available under following categories for FREE DOWNLOAD (in GIS ESRI ArcView Format)
  • Human Impacts (Population, Life Expectancy, Literacy Rates, Built-Up Land, Infant Mortality Rate, Per Capita Oil Usage, Population (1995), Population Density (1995), Population Doubling Time, Population Growth Rate and Population Under Age 15
  • Land Use (Croplands, Pastures, Urban Lands, Irrigated Lands, Soil Organic Carbon, Soil pH and Suitability for Agriculture)
  • Ecosystems (Annual Total Precipitation, Average Annual Relative Humidity, Average Annual Temperature, Average Temperature (DJF), Average Temperature (JJA), Average Temperature (MAM), Average Temperature (SON), Evapotranspiration, Growing Degree Days, Lakes and Wetlands, Net Primary Productivity, Potential Evapotranspiration, Potential Vegetation, Soil Moisture, Soil Organic Carbon, Soil pH and Topography)
  • Water Resources (Annual Runoff, Annual Total Precipitation, Lakes and Wetlands, Potential Evapotranspiration, Irrigated Lands, Lakes and Wetlands, Snow Depth and Soil Moisture)
Below, a sample preview image of one of the available datasets:

The Earth System Schematics
Detailed information available under following topics;

  • Carbon Cycle
  • IBIS
  • Nitrogen Cycle
  • Ozone in the Atmosphere
  • Radiation Budget
  • The Rock Cycle
  • Water Cycle

Click here to access Biosphere Data Download Page

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