Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Introducing the NEW RIGIS Website!!

I have some very exciting news for everyone in the RIGIS user community! I am happy to debut the NEW (and modern) RIGIS website! We have a new URL – – and will be phasing out the current RIGIS website ( at the end of April.
The new site maintains the same type of data download structure, with the addition of a few new data categories, like Base Maps – this contains NEW 2015 US Topo maps; Hydrography – this merges data from the current “Inland Water Resources” and “Oceans & Estuaries” sections; Imagery – all historical and current imagery collections; Society and Demography – caters to Census and population data; and Soil which has been separated from the Geology data. For anyone using the standalone vector geodatabase, this new data structure should look familiar.
The new website has a few exciting new features that we’re excited for our users to try out. The first is our new Maps section. If you’re not a GIS guru and just want a map, then this is for you! This section of the site provides an extensive listing of web resources where you can find maps and web mapping applications. There is a great “Filter by Category” feature that you can use to narrow down your search using options like “environmental,” “parcel,” and “static,” as just a few examples. This section includes links to all Rhode Island municipalities, so those of you looking for parcel maps can now access the town GIS websites directly via RIGIS.
The second new feature is a Search function. This will allow you to quickly type in a key word, like “sea level rise”, to see all datasets or resources on the site dealing with your chosen keyword.
The third new feature is individual dataset description pages. All datasets on RIGIS will have a permanent URL that is easily shareable and won’t change when a dataset is updated with a newer version. This will simplify dataset sharing, and provides users with basic dataset information. Take the new RIDOT Roads dataset for example – – here you’ll find information on the contributor, a basic description, the file size and the publication date. You can access these dataset description pages by clicking on a dataset title within the data catalog.
The old RIGIS blog on Blogger is being replaced with a new blog, which can be accessed via the Homepage, or via You’ll find some new blog postings here that are not available via the old blog, such as: New Coastal LiDAR and Imagery Available, and The First RIGIS Metadata Author’s Workshop. My goal is to be much more active on this blog, so keep an eye out for interesting new postings.
It was a long road getting this site ready to release, and I want to say a special thank you to our website developer Sam Rowlands (a URI undergraduate), Vin Flood at RI Statewide Planning, to Greg Bonynge at URI and to all of our beta testers who gave us feedback! 


Thursday, February 25, 2016

Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level Data ArcGIS Online Open Data Site

Historically, access to the Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level Data (HIFLD) has been restricted to applicants meeting a variety of criteria, such as working for a federal government agency, or state emergency management agency. With the release of their new ArcGIS Online Open Data website, the HIFLD has made data previously contained within the Homeland Security Infrastructure Program (HSIP) databases available, and open, to the public. 

Currently available are over 270 public datasets that are downloadable in a variety of useful formats, such as CSV, KML, and Shapefiles. These are also all available as APIs, such as GeoJSON and GeoServices for easy compatibility with web applications. 

There are a wide variety of data categories to choose from, ranging from Agricultural data, to Energy data, to water supply data. All data is downloadable, either as a full dataset, or as a filtered dataset (i.e. you can filter for features only occurring in Rhode Island and download those). 

Prior to downloading data, users can read brief dataset descriptions, explore the attribute table, and view the data in an interactive web map. Once downloaded, users have access to full metadata records.


For more information on the HIFLD, please visit their website