Introduction to Geospatial Tools

Geospatial technology takes several forms: remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), the global positioning system (GPS), geographically referenced land process models, and 3-D landscape visualization. Although each technology has a different end use, all involve connecting information about the environment within their geospatial context.

Satellites collect data that is not readily evident from the ground and that allow land owners and managers to "see" their land from a new perspective. Many tools exist to convert raw satellite data into maps, animations, and graphs that are easy to understand and use. A growing number of these tools can be accessed through the Internet. Remote sensing is an excellent tool for rangeland managers.

Drought View

DroughtView offers a new set of user-friendly tools that allows users to display current and historical MODIS vegetation greenness (NDVI and EVI) and rainfall data (PRISM) for the southwestern US. Cartographic data can be overlaid with the vegetation and rainfall data and users can display the data in multiple windows across the range of data (2000-2011).

Parameters of data: Satellite Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) data acquired by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) acquired between 2000 and 2010. DroughtView also provides the capability to view the difference in these parameters between any year and the ten year average or the previous year’s greenness. In addition monthly rainfall data from the Parameter-Elevation Regressions on Independent Slopes Model (PRISM) data are provided.

Geologic Map of Arizona

Arizona’s statewide geologic map available online, free-of-charge! The map may be viewed using a web browser, or viewed and queried using either Google Earth or ESRI's ArcGIS explorer.

University of Arizona GIS & Geospatial Guide

This guide provides a centralized link to data and resources available to University of Arizona faculty, staff, and students, as well as for the public.

University of Arizona Spatial Data Explorer

Preview and download datasets curated and held in the University of Arizona Library spatial data repository, as well as data managed by other institutions including Tufts University, University of California Berkeley, Harvard University, and University of Wisconsin Madison. The Explorer is an instance of the Open Geoportal Project.