Monday, December 10, 2018

Make Thematic Maps Quickly


Assume that you need to create some worldwide thematic maps. The maps should contain the national borders, main cities, main communication routes, rivers and lakes. Let us suppose you have a short time to finish the job and you have absolutely nothing at all in your archives. In other words, we have to solve this problem by using only information available on Geospatial Data Portals such as Natural Earth, NASA Earth Observations, The FAO GeoNetwork, and so on. Over the years they have started to release free sources from global to regional, from agriculture to soils, administrative boundaries, population, marinas, and other themes.

In this article, we focus on some data coming from the Natural Earth portal and we show how to manage and share Physical and Cultural Geography Information in an easy way through Scribble Maps.

The maps below are created in a short time with an excellent graphics rendering. We just have to load the data and choose the right basemap as per the data contents. Below is the list of maps with the associated basemap we used for our examples:

Cultural data:
Airports => Map Base Road.
Marinas => National Geographic Education.

Physical data:
Elevation Points => Google Terrain.
Glaciated Areas => ESRI Physical.

These maps can be a good starting point to share and discuss global geographic topics with students.
For example, you may ask your students to collect videos and images related to the marker points around the world.

In this activity, each student can analyze the different basemap options from Google maps and other providers (ESRI, Open Street Map, Map box, …). Once they have selected a map at the global level they could check which is the best basemap for the chosen area at the local level.

Let’s start, and share your maps with us!


Figure 1 - Glaciated Areas

Figure 2 - Elevation Points

Figure 3 - Airports

Figure 4 - Marinas

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Using WMS Layers With Scribble Maps

Web Map Services (WMS) are a way of sharing geo data across many platforms. Usually using WMS requires a lot of skill or advanced GIS tools but with Scribble Maps you can add them quickly and easily to your map. If you are a GIS professional you can use Scribble Maps to quickly layer WMS layers on the map and then even add your annotations on top.

For this post we are going to use https://www.weather.gov/gis/WebServices which is repository of government weather data. First select the layer you want to add to Scribble Maps.


Next, Click "WMS"



Next You will want to copy the entire WMS URL.


Now visit the Scribble Maps editor add click the "+" button in the bottom right next to Base Layers.


Next select "Add WMS"


Now paste your URL into "WMS URL" select your layer and then hit "Add WMS Layer"


Close the window and you will now see the WMS layer added to your Scribble Map!


The great part of WMS layers is depending where you get them from they can update every time you refresh the map. If the WMS layer provides up to date data, you do not need to save the Scribble Map to get the most recent data.

If you are more technical, you can use https://mapserver.org/ to publish your own WMS services to be used on ScribbleMaps.com as well.