Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Open Data Fusion

The Canadian Government has launched into an Open Data project and made a large number of various types of data sets available on a very open license. Paralleling this effort, or perhaps to enable it, departments that provide geographic information services (GIS) are supporting Web Map Service (WMS) servers that are publicly accessible. The really important thing is that since the data, though drawn from multiple sources, all conforms to a single standard format it can be fused with simple image manipulation.

For example, we can create a map of the Great Lakes surrounding Southern Ontario from Natural Resources Canada:

We can a forecast of wind speed and direction from Environment Canada:

And we can combine them for a more meaningful display of winds over the inland seas.

We can overlay rainfall rates on a map, mundane but useful:

Or we can create a Snow Mass map of the Rockies:

The possibilities are almost limitless.

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