Map of the Day: Myanmar (Burma) Cropland Recovery and Severity Analysis of Tropical Storm Nargis—2008

…from the ESRI Map Book, Volume 24


“Tropical cyclone Nargis struck the heart of Burma’s rice growing region in the low-lying Ayeyarwady Delta on May 2, 2008, causing extensive damage to agricultural lands, infrastructure, livestock, and stored food grains. A nearly 2,000-square-mile area of prime farmland was inundated with salt water and/or heavy rainfall. The affected region normally accounts for roughly 60 percent of the nation’s rice production.

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) had conducted a post-flood assessment that indicated that as of May 30, 2008, flood waters receded over a sizable area (300,000 hectares total recovery; 490,000 hectares improved since May 5, 2008). However, a month after the cyclone, approximately 1.40 million hectares, or 80 percent of the original inundated area, were still affected by some degree of flooding. Approximately 870,000 hectares had shown no improvement. The areas that showed the greatest change in the severity of flooding were the coastal areas of southern Ayeyarwady division. Natural drainage in these coastal rice farming areas must have aided the recovery, as further inland crop areas did not show the same degree of improvement. In contrast, much of the southern regions of Yangon division, which were heavily inundated, did not show much improvement a month after the cyclone’s passing.

“The Foreign Agricultural Service of the USDA works to improve foreign market access for U.S. products, build new markets, improve the competitive position of U.S. agriculture in the global marketplace, and provide food aid and technical assistance to foreign countries.

“Courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service.”

Map of the Day: Shaded Drift-Thickness Map of Ohio

…from the ESRI Map Book, Volume 24


“The drift-thickness map of Ohio depicts the thickness and distribution of glacially derived sediments (called drift) and post-glacial stream sediments overlying the buried bedrock surface. This map was produced by subtracting bedrock-surface elevations from land-surface elevations to produce a residual map of drift thickness. Colors portray thickness intervals of glacial and modern sediments, which can range up to several hundred feet.

“The bedrock-surface component is one of the products resulting from a multiyear effort by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey, to map the bedrock geology of Ohio. Bedrock-topography maps are required to determine the relief on the bedrock surface beneath thick layers of glacial drift. These maps were created for all 788 7½-minute topographic quadrangles in the state as part of a process to produce accurate bedrock-geology maps for glaciated portions of Ohio and for those areas beyond the glacial boundary where valleys are infilled with sediment. Data concentration and contour intervals on the original, hand-drawn bedrock-topography maps vary widely across the state in response to changing geologic and topographic conditions. During the course of mapping, over 162,000 data points were interpreted for bedrock-surface elevation and in some cases drift thickness. These points were plotted on maps and used as control for the bedrock-topography lines.

“Courtesy of Donovan Powers, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey.”

Map of the Day: Vegetation in the Vicinity of the Toolik Field Station, Alaska

…from the ESRI Map Book, Volume 24


“These vegetation maps are shown at three scales in the vicinity of the Toolik Field Station, Alaska, which is an Arctic research facility run by the Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. The maps are intended to support research at the field station.

“The front side of the map sheet contains a vegetation map and ancillary maps of a 751-square-kilometer (290-square-mile) region surrounding the upper Kuparuk River watershed, including the Toolik Lake and the Imnavait Creek research areas, as well as portions of the Dalton Highway and Trans-Alaska Pipeline from the northern end of Galbraith Lake to Slope Mountain. The reverse side shows detailed vegetation maps of the 20-square-kilometer (7.7-square-mile) research area centered on Toolik Lake and a 1.2-square-kilometer (1/2-square-mile) intensive research grid on the south side of Toolik Lake. All the maps are part of a hierarchical geographic information system and the Web-based Arctic Geobotanical Atlas.

“Courtesy of Alaska Geobotany Center, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks.”

Map of the Day: Influenza Vaccine Inventory by Health District

…from the ESRI Map Book Volume 1: GIS in State Government

Nebraska Health and Human Services System

“The state of Nebraska conducts annual surveys of influenza activity in the state. There are multiple tools in place to collect and report data about health status related to influenza activity.

“During the current vaccine shortage and the shortage that occurred last year, the state of Nebraska used the Health Alert Network to communicate with providers and public health departments. Various automated surveys, fax surveys, and phone calls helped determine vaccine supply, antiviral supply, and vaccine need across the state. Many of these data sources were integrated into GIS and printed as maps for public health communication purposes and for data analysis by public health professionals.

“The map shows the number of doses of flu vaccine interpolated by the population by health district. The product is the number of doses per resident.”

Map of the Day: Contaminated Sites, City of Houston

…from the ESRI Map Book, Volume 24


“The City of Houston needed to locate all contaminated sites within its municipal boundary. Several agencies at the federal, state, and municipal levels tracked these locations, but there was no single source to show the entire universe of contaminated sites in the Houston area across all the programs. A comprehensive geodatabase would enable the city to analyze concentrations of these sites and prioritize locations to remediate.

“Aggregating and analyzing these contaminated sites based on ZIP Codes, neighborhoods, council districts, and other boundaries gave policy makers vital data to better serve citizens. Houston’s office of the mayor compiled the information from various environmental agencies and turned it over to the Planning Department’s GIS mapping team. The mapping team took the data, which was broken down by participating program, and geocoded the addresses. Afterward, the feature classes were organized into a geodatabase by program affiliation and the concentrations of these sites were analyzed based on various regional boundaries. The final presentation map set summarizes the findings of the study, highlighting the concentrations of these contamination program sites based on known Houston geographical areas.

“Courtesy of City of Houston Department of Planning and Development.”

Map of the Day: Development of an Erosion-Reduction Management Strategy for Watersheds and Reservoirs in Algeria

…from the ESRI Map Book, Volume 24


“In Algeria, water is a key component of economic development, and its scarcity necessitates dams for storage and distribution for irrigation and human consumption. The Agence Nationale des Barrages et Transferts (ANBT) plans to build new dams to bring the total to 70 by 2010. However, soil erosion has contributed to a 20 percent reduction in reservoir capacities since their construction.

“In 2003, the ANBT invited Tecsult Inc., a major Canadian engineering firm, to conduct a comprehensive study that would locate the degraded areas of watersheds of twenty-one dams (five existing and sixteen in the detailed planned stage) and to develop watershed management plans to reduce hillside erosion and decrease reservoir siltation (accumulation of silt). The total study area covered more than 23,800 square kilometers (9,190 square miles), and the allowed study time was eighteen months.

“Each watershed was characterized for three types of erosion (sheet erosion, gully erosion, and landslides), and the resulting maps were combined in order to create a consolidated erosion risk map. Using this map and twelve land management measures, a watershed management plan was developed for each dam. Each watershed has also a map locating four kinds of special erosion control actions that aimed to reduce the stream sediment loads before they reach the reservoir. Finally, the budget required for implementing the watershed management plan with the special erosion control actions was estimated for each watershed. It was estimated that the twenty-one management schemes elaborated during this study will yield a total estimated gain of water in their reservoir equivalent to the consumption of water for more than 9 million people in one year.

“Courtesy of Agence Nationale des Barrages et Transferts (ANBT).”

Map of the Day: Cabonga Reservoir, Canada

…from the ESRI Map Book, Volume 24


“This map represents the bathymetry of the Cabonga reservoir, located in the réserve faunique La Vérendrye at the border of Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Outaouais. It was designed to help fishermen and other boating enthusiasts to navigate the waters safely.

“The TRAK survey team collected the data over several weeks. Then data was sorted, processed, and checked by the geomatics department with the help of local partners. In order to make the map more versatile, several service providers around the reservoir are also listed.

“Courtesy of TRAK and Base de données topographiques du Québec.”