Carbon Footprint Data Model for ArcGIS

carbondmThe purpose of the Carbon Footprint data model is to provide a basic starter template to empower GIS users to tackle the basic problems of greenhouse gases that affect Global Climate Change. The data model suggests the feature classes that a GIS manager would build to support issues related to carbon dioxide production and sequestration.

The intent of the model is to be a starting point that can be extended to meet the needs of those whose task is to act on this problem. The model is the starting point for analysis, visualization, tracking change over time and auditing. Consider this as the Mission Data Set to locally address global climate change.

A key part is developing a Carbon Fabric – layers of sources and sinks that aggregate information from more detailed datasets.

This is an early draft of a data model and we are actively looking for projects to collaborate with to establish best practices. Please contact Steve Grise ( for more information.

AquaMaps: Marine Environment Data Sets Available

aquamapsThe AquaMaps project has created standardized distribution maps for 9,000 species of fishes, marine mammals, and invertebrates.

“AquaMaps is an approach to generating model-based, large-scale predictions of currently known natural occurrence of marine species. Models are constructed from estimates of the environmental tolerance of a given species with respect to depth, salinity, temperature, primary productivity, and its association with sea ice or coastal areas.”

The AquaMaps team has made their depth, salinity, temperature, primary productivity, and sea ice concentration data sets freely available in Half-Degree Cell Authority File (HCAF) format.

Citation:  Kaschner, K., J. S. Ready, E. Agbayani, J. Rius, K. Kesner-Reyes, P. D. Eastwood, A. B. South, S. O. Kullander, T. Rees, C. H. Close, R. Watson, D. Pauly, and R. Froese. Editors 2008 AquaMaps Environmental Dataset: Half-Degree Cells Authority File (HCAF). World Wide Web electronic publication,, Version 01/2008.

More than 30 Essential Data Models Available for ArcGIS

data modelYour GIS database is an abstraction of reality—a model of the real world that needs to serve its intended purpose while still being of a manageable size.  So how do you build your database to insure it fully supports the needs of your organization without burdening the system with superfluous information?  With a well-designed data model.

A GIS data model describes the thematic layers used in the application (for example, building locations, roads, and political boundaries); their spatial representation (for example, point, line, or polygon); their attributes; their integrity rules and relationships (for example, in the U.S., counties must nest within states); their cartographic portrayal; and their metadata requirements.  A good GIS data model needs to do all of these things while maintaining the difficult balance between the compromises of abstraction and the heavy burden of completeness.

To support our user community, ESRI has established a set of best practices geodatabase designs for various industry and application domains. These database design models are intended to help GIS users rapidly become productive with the geodatabase and to share what really works among users and our developer communities.  ESRI strives to build essential data models; not comprehensive models, but generalized templates focused on common data elements that can benefit a wide variety of users in an industry or application area.  Because data models are designed in close partnership with our user community, the resulting models are based on real business needs and are tested and refined in real-world workflows.

What’s Included?

The content of the data models available for free download from ESRI can vary, but can include:

  • A case study implementation that includes a small sample database.
  • A geodatabase template for importing the data model as a template on which to base a system.
  • A white paper explaining the design.
  • A data model poster.
  • Tips and tricks on how to utilize the data model from the case study and how to use it in your work.

Some of the ArcGIS data models also have important community-based Web links for particular domains to allow collaboration in developing designs and concepts.

ESRI ensures that ArcGIS data models implement relevant standards as they evolve. For example, the land records and the ArcHydro data models are based on proven standards over the past decade. ESRI also monitors and participates in many standards-based efforts at ISO, OGC, FGDC, Geospatial One-Stop, and ANSI. All appropriate standards are incorporated into data models.

Each ArcGIS data model uses commonly adopted spatial representations (e.g., points, lines, and polygons), classifications, and map layer specifications that can be implemented in any GIS. Each data model specifies the commonly used integrity rules for key data layers and feature classes. ArcGIS data models can be widely adopted regardless of the system architecture.

Academic and industry leaders collaborate with ESRI to create and design data model templates that can be used with ArcGIS.  ESRI’s vision is to build many industry-specific data models in order to simplify the process of implementing projects, and to promote and support standards that exist in our user communities.


ArcGIS data models available today for free download include Address, Agriculture, Atmospheric, Basemap, Biodiversity, Building Interior Space, Carbon Footprint, Census-Administrative Boundaries, Defense-Intel, Energy Utilities, Environmental Regulated Facilities, Fire Service, Forestry , Geology , GIS for the Nation, Groundwater, Health, Historic Preservation and Archaeology, Homeland Security, Hydrology, Land Parcels, Local Government, Marine National Cadastre, Petroleum, Pipeline, Raster, Telecommunications, Transportation, Water Utilities, and more.

For more information or to get started with one of these data models today, please visit the on the Downloads for Data Models page ESRI Support Center.  You can read about the goals and process in the Introduction to ArcGIS Data Models, and visit the Data Model tips and tricks page to learn common methods and best practices. You can also visit the ESRI data model discussion forum to share your ideas, thoughts, and questions with other users.

Books about Geostatistics and Spatial Statistics

GIS-based Solar Radiation Analysis

solar_2…from ArcUser

“Scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center, the Yellowstone Ecological Research Center (YERC), the Creekside Center for Earth Observation (CCEO), and ESRI have created 30-meter solar and temperature distribution maps in mountainous Yellowstone National Forest using tools in the ArcGIS Spatial Analyst extension. These products support ecological management in Yellowstone, the first and most famous national park in the world.”

Combining Math, Science, and GIS: Students Use GIS to Solve Real Problems

obenhaus_2…from ArcUser

“Steve Obenhaus, a math teacher at Olathe North High School in Olathe, Kansas, has proved that you do not need extensive GIS training to effectively and meaningfully integrate geospatial technologies into a high school curriculum.

“Integrating GIS in secondary curricula is a relatively new concept. Finding an approach that will hold students’ short- and long-term interest can be difficult. Obenhaus has succeeded in incorporating GIS in his math courses and has helped his students produce high-quality GIS projects.”

Jeremy Morley Appointed Deputy Director, Centre for Geospatial Science, University of Nottingham

cgsJeremy Morley from University College, London (UCL), has been appointed as Deputy Director of the Centre for Geospatial Science (CGS) at The University of Nottingham. He takes-up the post in September. Jeremy was programme director of UCL’s MSc in GIS from 1998-2004 and of its BEng/MEng in Geoinformatics from 2005-20099. Over the last 15 years his research has focussed on the mapping of Mars in support of geological analysis; terrain mapping from LiDAR and InSAR; GIS interoperability and mashup WebGIS systems. He has been UCL’s technical representative to the Open Geospatial Consortium since 2004. Jeremy is currently the academic organiser for the AGI’s “GeoCommunity” 2009 Annual Conference and Conference Chair for GISRUK 2010.

CGS is a major multi-disciplinary post-graduate research centre, established in 2005 by The University of Nottingham’s Institute of Engineering Surveying and Space Geodesy (IESSG) and School of Geography. Its research focus is on spatial data infrastructures (SDI), geospatial intelligence, spatial interoperability and location-based services. Its current multi-million pound research portfolio includes contracts for the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain, The Technology Strategy Board and the EU. It is part of a recently awarded £5.7m Doctoral Training Centre at Nottingham in Location Aware Pervasive Computing and a £12m award for a Digital Economy Research Hub in the same subject area. It also shares with IESSG and Computer Science in a £700,000 award for positioning and sensor infrastructure. CGS is currently based within the School of Geography and moves, with IESSG, into a new purpose built building in October 2009.

Professor Mike Jackson, Director of CGS, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jeremy to CGS and The University of Nottingham. His strong research background will further enhance the status that the Centre has achieved in the last few years and enable the Centre to continue to grow its reputation for multi-disciplinary research in the geospatial sciences.”

Jeremy Morley said: “I am very pleased to be joining Professor Jackson at the Centre for Geospatial Science. The Centre has established a strong international presence in the field of GIS, interoperability and services and I look forward to contributing to the further growth of the group and its research.”