SI Web Maps

Spatial Institute Online Interactive Maps
Created by SI Students, Faculty & Staff

One of the main areas of interest over the last few years, both for SI and for the GIS community in general, has been the development of interactive, online mapping technologies. Beyond simply providing maps which allow users to pan, zoom and turn layers on and off, web maps can be used for spatial decision making support and for the collection of field data. Below are some of the more recent projects that SI faculty, staff and students have been involved in.

See also the Spatial Institute Research page.

See also WWU student web maps.


Western Washington University (WWU) Interactive Campus Map

Campus Map for WWU
Main cartography and design by Josh Jones, 2011. The WWU map provides the user with the ability to create custom maps tailored to their interests (i.e., the Outdoor Sculpture Tour) and includes drop down selection menus to locate each building, department and key locations and services on campus. In addition, the map provides links to detailed information on individual buildings, parking information, construction updates, on-campus dining and more. Designed and developed almost entirely by WWU students working with SI, the map is an ongoing project as additional layers of information are being developed. This project was funded by WWU's Academic Technology & User Services (ATUS).



Toxic Trends (EPA Toxic Release Inventory Data)

Toxic Trends Mapper

Cartography and design by Jacob Lesser, working with Dr. Troy Abel, 2013

This web map visually represents industrial air pollution information across the United States by mapping the relative risk from air pollution that industrial facilities pose to the human health of their communities and how those risks have changed over time. Facility pollution information comes from the Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) , an inventory by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the States to collect data annually on releases and transfers of certain toxic chemicals from industrial facilities. TRI facilities are depicted as circles with colors that correlate to a risk screening value that is based on modeled output data from the EPA's Risk Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI) model for assessing TRI data. RSEI is a screening model, not a risk assessment, that allows one to link a facility’s chemical release to harm being caused to a specific population or location. As with any model, a number of simplifying assumptions are made.

Users are able to click facilities to get information about the facility, including emission trends over time, specific chemicals released and related health information, as well as comparisons of the facility to other similar facilities in its state and in the United States. There are currently 17,000 facilities reporting to TRI and viewable in the web map for the years 1996 to 2010. This web map was funded through a grant from the Environmental Council of States(ECOS). The concept for this web map was introduced in 2011 in the book, Coming Clean, by Michael E. Kraft, Mark Stephan, and Troy D. Abel.



Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center (NWAC) Avalanche Danger Forecast Map

Avalanche Danger Forecast Map for NWAC
Main cartography and design by Ben Kane, 2012

The Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center (NWAC) creates a daily regional forecast for avalanche risk for the Washington State and northern Oregon mountain regions. Each day NWAC produces a 'danger rose' for each region which displays the forecast levels of avalanche danger based on combinations of elevation and aspect (the direction a slope faces) for elevations between 3,000 and 7,000 ft. The web application developed for NWAC takes their daily forecasts for the different regions and displays this forecast via an interactive map. The map interface allows the user to view multiple dates (future and past forecasts) as well as to zoom to specific regions. The map also includes the NWAC's danger rose and a link to NWAC current forecast and more detailed information. This project was funded by the Friends of NWAC.


Puget Sound Coastal Resilience Map

Puget Sound Coastal Resilience

Cartography and design by Peter Horne, Eric Grossman and Jacob Lesser, 2013. The prototype site combines the best available science to determine the joint-probability of the co-occurrence of future sea level, high tides, storm surge, and river flooding to map the extent of inundation projected across the Puget Sound lowlands at 2050 and 2100. Land surface elevation data is factored together with published estimates of the rate of sea-level rise, annual mean tide and storm surge excursions, gradients in regional subsidence and sedimentation, and river flooding to develop future flood scenarios. Users are able to query the intersection of the current and future flood scenarios with coastal infrastructure and ecosystems to evaluate the vulnerability of valued coastal resources. The methods and assumptions are described online.


Elwha Watershed Information

Elwha Environmental Data Map for the Elwha Watershed Information Resource
Cartography by Tyson Waldo, Zeck Donohue and Jacob Lesser, 2011, working with Dr. Michael Medler

In the early 20th century, the Elwha and Glines Canyon Dams were constructed on the Elwha River, providing electrical power but blocking fish passage to the upper Elwha watershed. The process of removing these dams began in 2011, after decades of work negotiating and preparing for the largest dam removal in the history of the United States. The restoration of the Elwha River ecosystem provides considerable challenges and opportunities for research: before, during and after the removal of the dams. The Elwha Watershed Information Resource integrates ecological and socioeconomic information that describes the physical environment, biological and human communities, and management issues in the Elwha watershed. The Elwha Watershed Information Resource was developed to support the management and recovery of the Elwha Watershed after dam removal. The Elwha Map provides environmental data (stream gages, water quality, fish distributions, geology, zoning, etc.) for the Elwha watershed. This project was funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

The Forgotten People: Uranium Mines and Water Sources within the Navajo Nation

Uranium Mines and Water Sources Map for the Forgotten People
Cartography by Robert Sabie, working with Dr. Troy Abel, 2011

The Forgotten People Dine' Be' Iina' na' hil naa (Dine’ Rebuilding Communities) is a non-profit, community-based organization dedicated to improve the well-being of the Dine’ people who live on the Navajo Nation in Arizona. Their mission is to help the Dine’ people have access to safe drinking water, sanitation, low-cost housing, solar electrification, sustainable agriculture, and economic development. This interactive web map provides information for some of the environmental features and hazards of the Navajo Nation in the Southwest USA, including Uranium Mines (active and abandoned), coal power plants and water sources. Data used in this project came from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Abandoned Mines Screening Assessment Report and Atlas. This project was done in collaboration with the Navajo Forgotten People.