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25 July 2008

The Antarctic Cryosphere Access Portal (A-CAP) Beta Version Released

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A beta version, or prototype, of the Antarctic Cryosphere Access Portal (A-CAP) (http://nsidc.org/agdc/acap/) has been released for public use. A-CAP is a geo-visualization and data download tool developed at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) Antarctic Glaciological Data Center (AGDC). A-CAP provides AGDC data and other Antarctic-wide parameters, including glaciology, ice core data, snow accumulation, satellite imagery, digital elevation models (DEMs), sea ice concentration, and many other cryosphere-related scientific measurements.

acap animation
Figure 1. Example map images produced with A-CAP Beta.

A-CAP provides an interactive Web interface, allowing the user to zoom in to a specific region as well as overlay coastlines, placenames, latitude/longitude, and other geographic information. In addition, customizable A-CAP map images and source data are also accessible via the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Map Service (WMS), Web Feature Service (WFS), and Web Coverage Service (WCS). For more details and instructions for accessing these OGC services, click here. These international specifications provide an interoperable framework for sharing maps and geospatial data over the Internet, enabling remote access through OGC-compliant software applications such as ArcGIS, Google Earth, ENVI, and many others.

ogc logo

In its current beta form, A-CAP performs the following functions:

  • Provide WMS, WFS, and WCS OGC services.
  • Interactively view one or more layers from a variety of overlays, basemaps, and sea ice climatologies. The available basemaps thus far focus on satellite imagery, DEMs, and snow accumulation.
  • View a map legend, reference map, and scale bar.
  • Zoom in/out and recenter the map.
  • Adjust a variety of map parameters, such as the map size, map center, map extent, and background color.
  • Save the displayed map as an image file by right-clicking on the map.
  • Obtain citation and background information for each layer, including links to further documentation and data access.

The following functions were not yet available as of 25 July, 2008:
Note: For current information on available A-CAP functions, see A-CAP News.

  • Save the displayed map as a GeoTIFF file.
  • Download the source data for each of the layers displayed in the map. This dialog will likely include options for data format, map projection, and subsetting to the current map view.
  • Click on the map to get the data values for that location.
  • Dynamically view the location of the cursor as you scroll over the map image.
  • Zoom to your spatial area of interest by drawing a rectangle on the map.
  • Image buttons, or clickable icons, for common functions such as zoom, recenter, query, view map legend, download data, etc.
  • Many more data sets will be added to the site as they are prepared, especially including those in AGDC's Data Catalog.

We welcome your feedback on this project. If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please contact the A-CAP Team. A-CAP is developed using MapServer, an Open Source development environment for building spatially-enabled Internet applications.