About This CD-ROM
NOTE: This online version of the Glacier Bay Ecosystem GIS contains much of the original content but not the spatial datasets. To order a copy of the CD-ROM, contact:
Biological Resource Division
Alaska Science Center
1011 E. Tudor Road
Anchorage, AK 99503
phone: (907) 786-3512
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) and Interrain Pacific are please to help make available to the public this integrated Geographic Information System for the Glacier Bay / northern Southeast Alaska ecosystem. The USGS-Interrain Pacific partnership focused on collecting and integrating GIS data sets from many agencies and organizations and to them go credit for the large majority of data layers on this CD. The goals of this project were to integrate these independently developed data and to then make this information available to a broader group of potential users. Funding was provided by the USGS's Glacier Bay Ecosystem Inititive and by the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII).
The USGS, NBII, and Interrain Pacific are all committed to increasing public access to biological information and especially to information important to the sound management of our natural lands. The data sets on this CD should be of use to local citizens, resource managers, conservationists, and scientists.
This CD-ROM provides easy access to extensive information describing the natural and human resources of the Glacier Bay Ecosystem. The information cataloged on this CD was gathered and developed over several years by numerous organizations, agencies, and local residents. Included on this CD are more than one hundred different spatial data sets as well as additional information about the Glacier Bay Ecosystem.
This section is a guide to setting-up the provided software, and accessing the information on this CD. It also explains some of the basics about browsers, geographic information systems (GIS), spatial data, tabular data, and other types of data such as maps and images. Additionally, there is some general discriptive information on natural history of the Glacier Bay area.
The organization of this CD provides users ready access to an extensive and diverse set of information as well as an understanding of how to use it. The majority of the 900 megabytes of information on the CD are spatial and tabular datasets. Both text files and browsable HTML (hypertext markup language) files describe the information contained in these datasets, and provide ideas of analyses that can be performed with them. The Data Catalog organizes and describes the different datasets in depth.
Additional information is included in the form of reports, maps, charts , tables, and references that broaden the context of the data. These files can be accessed through the provided web browsers, or as text files within the Catalog directory on the CD.
It is important to emphasize that you cannot access the spatial data directly from the browsable Data Catalog. To access the spatial data you will need to use a viewing and processing tool, such as ArcView or workstation ARC/INFO. Additionally, due to performance constraints using large data sets from CD, it may be necessary to copy files directly onto your hard drive or other media for use. To maintain the integrity of the ARC/INFO coverage format, the INFO directories must accompany the coverage directories under the same parent directory.
The cumulative size of all datasets included in the Glacier Bay Ecosystem GIS exceeds 1 gigabyte, and thus required 2 CD's for storage. As a result, a system was required to organize each database into a coherent unit. Disk 1 contains data sets related primarily to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and are contained in the directory glba_cd/data/glba, while Disk2 contains data sets related primarily to surrounding areas of the Tongass National Forest and statewide base features and are contained in glba_cd/data/tongass and glba_cd/data/statewid respectively (see Database Directory Structure).
The Glacier Bay Ecosystem GIS has been customized for use with ArcView version 2.1 or higher. ArcView project files are contained in the glba_cd/data directory on both Disk1 and Disk2. Due to the size of data sets, and the performance limitations using the data from the CD-Rom, it is highly recommended that you copy this database onto your hard drive or other media. However, it is important to note that the ArcView project files must remain in the directory structure relative to the data. That is, you should not move the project file without moving the data along with it, or vice versa.
Once you have an installed browser on your system, open it, click OK when it tells you that you are not connected to a network (see the "Using the CD Online" section), and go to the "File" menu and select "Open File...". Go to the root of the CD, go into the "glba_cd/catalog" directory, and select the "launch.htm" file.
We have included a few links to sites on the World Wide Web as well as some e-mail links so that you may contact us directly. You may take advantage of these features by first connecting to the Internet, and then opening the browser and viewing the pages off of the CD. Once online, the "http..." and email links will be hot. Alternatively, you can also write down the addresses and visit them at another time when you're online.
Although maps have been used for thousands of years to convey large amounts of information, it has only been in the last thirty years that maps, graphics and databases have been combined with computers to create geographic information systems (GIS).
A simple definition of a geographic information system is one that links locations of places on the earth's surface to information describing the attributes of those places. A GIS is commonly considered to be an organized collection of computer hardware, software, geographic data and personnel designed to efficiently capture, store, update, manipulate, analyze, and display geographically referenced information.
A GIS uses georeferenced and associated relational data to keep track of geographic features and attributes. Georeferenced data is information tied to specific locations on the earth through a system of real-world coordinates such as latitude and longitude. The georeferenced information may describe a variety of geomorphic, biological, and social attributes, all of which can be displayed as maps.
The maps contained on the CD are representational only — they contain no links to underlying datasets. Although the maps were created in a GIS, they are not georeferenced and can not be queried as they have no associated attribute data. Likewise, the images and photographs are limited to only graphical display.
The maps demonstrate some of the analysis that can be accomplished using GIS technology in combination with the spatial data and associated information on the CD.
We have included the photographs as an introduction to the Glacier Bay Ecosystem and as context for the spatial data.
- Learning about the spatial data
All you need to learn about each coverage is a text editor and a .gif reader, or an all-inclusive browser.
Below are the specifications for using ESRI GIS software.
- ArcView --
PC Computer A 386 microprocessor, hard disk, at least 2x CD-ROM drive.
RECOMMENDED: 486 or Pentium processor with drives.
Hard Disk Space At least 12 MB of available space RAM 8 MB RAM, with 12 MB swap space.
RECOMMENDED: 24-32 MB RAM.
Cache Subsystem L1 write back primary cache, 16k; 8k code/8k data. L2 write back secondary cache, 256k; direct mapped. Operating System MS-DOS 5.0 or later, and Microsoft Windows 3.1 or later, Windows for Workgroups 3.11 or later, or Windows NT 3.1 or later. I/O Ports One parallel and two serial ports on system board; LPT and COM configurable from system setup program. Monitor VGA monitor Pointing Device Microsoft Mouse or comaptible pointing device. Printer Optional Macintosh Computer Power Macintosh, or Macintosh with 68040 processor and FPU. Disk Drive Floppy disk drive and at least 6x CD-ROM drive. Hard Disk Atleast 25 MB of available space. RAM Power Macintosh - with virtual memory 12 MB
68040 - 12 MB
RECOMMENDED: 24 - 32 MB RAM
Operating System System 7.1 or later Monitor Any Macintosh compatible monitor. Pointing Device Macintosh Mouse or compatible pointing device. Printer Optional
- ARC/INFO --
You need to have a resident version of ARC/INFO version 7.x or better for Unix or MS Windows NT.
- at least 10 MB of free space
- an internet connection (optional)