18 February 2011

Free GIS and Remote Sensing data on Global scales

Award Winning, IWMI Data Storehouse Pathway (IWMI-DSP) provides more than 10 terabytes of high scientific quality remote sensing and GIS data that are FREELY available through its globally known portal. The site has more than 6,000 registered users from more than 90 countries, who downloads data absolutely FREE !

Large volumes of data are also available at Global, Regional, National and River Basins levels, which includes More than 30 River Basin data from all over the world! These data are catalogued, streamlined and released to the public FREELY through an excellent easy-to-download web interface. Much of the river basin and other datasets are composed as single mega files of hundreds or sometimes thousands of bands consisting of continuous streams of 8-day or monthly time series data in several wavebands and/or indices.

The Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System Unit (RS GIS Unit) of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), is a centralized facility for all spatial data related activities of IWMI at the headquarters in Sri Lanka and Regional Offices located in different parts of the world.

Large volumes of multi-temporal data from multiple satellite sensors are used in several IWMI research projects. These projects include: (a) Global Irrigated Area Mapping (GIAM) at global to local scales, (b) the Wetland project in the Limpopo river basin of four Southern African Nations, (c) the Krishna river basin project in India, (d) the Indo-Gangetic river basin project in India and Pakistan, (e) the Drought Assessment and Mitigation project in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of India, and (f) the bio-diversity project in Sri Lanka.

Comprehensive river basin datasets are available for a number of benchmark basins spread across the World such as Limpopo (South Africa), Ruhuna (Sri Lanka), Krishna (India), and Ganges-Indus (India and Pakistan) and many more. Most innovative datasets are in the data archive named: (a) AVHRR 0.1 degree monthly data as a single mega file of 956 bands over 20 years (red, near-infrared, 2 thermal infrared bends), (b) MODIS continuous streams of data from 2000 to present every 8-days for several benchmark river basins mentioned above, (c) SRTM 90-m DEM data for Asia, (d) rainfall data available monthly for last 40-years at 0.5 degree resolution for the entire globe, and (e) Satellite sensor data from sensors such as SPOT vegetation, Landsat ETM+, TM, MSS, and a few IKONOS images for various spots in the World. …some glimpses of other available datasets although those are not derived.

This portal received the “Special Achievement in GIS” award at ESRI’s 27th Annual User Conference. This award is being given to user sites around the world in recognition of their outstanding work in the GIS field. This portal was selected to receive this prize from over 100,000 sites worldwide.

Interactive metadata based search engine allows users to search precisely what they want and know the data before they start downloading. Below a screen-grab of a search result:

Below a screen-grab of a hassle-free “one click” data download interface:

Okay, why are you waiting for… just Go grab your piece of data !

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