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Save Data Function Now Available

Release Date: May 11, 2009

Users of NSIDC's Atlas of the Cryosphere ( can now download the underlying source data for each of the layers displayed in the map, including options for data format, map projection, resolution, and cropping to the current map view. Whereas saving a map image is useful in a qualitative sense for publications, posters, presentations, etc., saving the actual data that went into producing these maps preserves quantitative values and is useful for scientific analysis and incorporation into geographic information systems (GIS) and advanced image analysis software. Available data formats for raster layers include GeoTIFF, ArcInfo ASCII, ENVI, ERDAS ER Mapper, ERDAS IMAGINE, ESRI BIL, FITS, GMT, HDF4, NetCDF, and PCI Geomatics. Available data formats for vector layers include Shapefile, GML, GMT, and KMZ (Google Earth).

To save data, click on the new save map or data button in the left-hand menu. If you only require a map image, you are presented with options for doing so on the first screen. Otherwise, click save data and you will be presented with another screen that lists the available raster and vector layers that were used to render the current Atlas of the Cryosphere map. Choose your desired layer and settings and click save raster or save vector to begin the download. Depending on the size of the resulting data file, this could take as little as a few seconds or up to several minutes to complete. The resulting file(s) will be compressed and packaged into a ZIP file.

Figure 1. Example screenshot of the Save Data pop-up window in the Atlas of the Cryosphere. Click on the image to view a larger image.

We welcome your feedback on this project. If you have questions, comments or suggestions, please contact NSIDC User Services at +1.303.492.6199,, or via our online contact form. The development of this map server application was supported by NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) Program under contract NAS5-03099 and was developed using MapServer, an Open Source development environment for building spatially-enabled internet applications. The Atlas of the Cryosphere was developed by John Maurer. Future updates will continue to be announced on this RSS feed.