In a FieldScope project, a project owner can choose to include map layers (also called GIS data layers) that project participants can interact with to better understand the data a project is collecting.
Below is an expanded explanation of map layers and instructions for project owners on how to add map layers to a FieldScope project.
What is a map layer?
Map layers are visual representations added to a FieldScope project using Geographic Information System (GIS) data. Projects choose to include them to provide added information or context that participants in a project can interact with to better understand the data that has been collected.
For example, phenology observations (from Budburst) are enhanced with a map layer showing land surface temperature (here visualized in pink and red). This can help participants study the connection between plant life cycle events and land surface temperature.
As another example, water quality data in the map below is overlain onto a map layer of major river basins and local watersheds in Alaska and the Yukon Territories. This can allow someone to analyze data across a watershed.
(For more information about interacting with map layers in a FieldScope project, see our article Explore and Change Maps.)
Adding map layers to a FieldScope project
There are two main ways to add map layers to a FieldScope project:
- Select from map layers the FieldScope team makes available.
- Organize and include your own GIS data as map layers in your FieldScope project.
Adding map layers hosted by FieldScope
The FieldScope platform includes a library of some built-in map layers that you can add to your project. These layers are listed below:
- US Watershed Boundaries
- US County Boundaries
- US Land Cover (shows different categories of land cover, such as agriculture, urban, etc.)
- US Population Density
- US Physiographic Provinces
When setting up a FieldScope project, project organizers can specify which of these they would like to be included in a project.
Organizing GIS data as map layers for a project
If there are other map layers that project organizers want to include in a project, there are a few options for making this happen. Brief explanations of these options are listed below. More detailed technical instructions are available by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Option 1: Bring in external GIS data hosted outside of FieldScope
When setting up a FieldScope project, project organizers can include information on external GIS data layers to be included in the project.
Many federal, state, and local agencies include GIS data online that can be accessed and easily added to a FieldScope project. FieldScope can display GIS data stored as ArcGIS REST Services, which is a common format used by GIS agencies to make public data available as map layers. To learn more about ArcGIS Rest services, see here.
Option 2: Work with the FieldScope team to identify, process, and organize GIS data for your project.
If there are other map layers that a project organizer would like to have included in their FieldScope project, but the project organizer does not have the internal capacity or expertise to create, obtain, or prepare the GIS data for this, reach out to the FieldScope team about this. We will do our best to accommodate requests by adding new map layers to the FieldScope map layer library. Our team can also do custom GIS work for projects to create map layers for you for an additional fee. Contact us at email@example.com