One of the key features of GISsurfer is the ability to display a vast amount of data that is hosted on GIS (Geographical Information System) servers. Using this feature I have produced GISsurfer links that display a variety of maps. Each time you open any of these maps or turn on an overlay layer, the most recent data flows from the GIS server to your screen.

In addition to the GIS overlay layers that are 'on' when the map opens, each map has other overlay layers you can turn on/off and restack. Each layer you turn on is stacked on top of other layers that are on. Thus the order in which you turn layers on greatly affects the appearance of the map.

If you click the 'top' overlay layer then usually you will see a display with all the attribute data the GIS server has for thing that you clicked. Sometimes the attribute data includes a link that leads to more information.

Each map has a "Map tips" link in the upper left corner. If you would like to get the most benefit from the map, please read these tips. Among other things you will learn how to:

1. Turn geolocation on
2. Make contour lines easier to see
3. Make your own custom map link
4. Display the USGS 1:24,000 topographic maps
5. Get attribute data for the 'top' GIS layer
6. and more...

Be patient. Sometimes it may take a few seconds for GIS data to appear on the map. It all depends on how much other work the GIS servers are trying to do at the same time. The speed of your internet connection is also a factor.

Everyone is welcome to share and repost these map links. There is no need to ask first. Please follow these simple rules:

1. Encourage your readers to click the "Map Tips" link in the upper left corner of any map so they can learn how to get the most benefit from the map.

2. Include in your post a credit thanking

3. If you are news media or a government agency, please use the 'Contact' link near the top of this page to send me a link to where you are using the map. I enjoy knowing where these maps are being used.

4. Unless you are news media, do not use these map links for any commercial purpose.

The links on this page will likely open in the same browser tab, so use your back button.

Weather Map,-98.525391&zoom=4&basemap=USA_basemap&overlay=Weather_watch_warning&data=

Wildland Fire Map,-111.533203&zoom=5&basemap=USA_basemap&overlay=VIIRS_24_hours,MODIS_24_hours&data=

For some of the larger fires I also produce a daily map that shows the latest fire perimeter. This perimeter data is produced by fire staff that analyze infrared data collected by a nighttime overflight. The best place to see those daily map links is the MappingSupport Twitter feed

California Risk of wildland Fire
Be patient. When the map opens it will display two data overlays but they might take a few seconds to appear. One of the overlay layers you can turn on will show the estimated number of dead trees per acre.,-121.030955&zoom=7&basemap=USA_basemap&overlay=Tier_2_high_hazard,Tier_1_high_hazard&data=

Like to know how it works?

Each map link includes a data parameter that points to a txt file I made and which is online via my server. Anyone can download and open those txt files. Each line that begins with the word "overlay" corresponds to one of the layers the map can display. The overlay line provides the GIS server address for that data along with other information. You also might notice that one txt file can link to other txt files.

If you have some GIS savvy you can make your own txt files using the same syntax, put your txt files online and display whatever GIS data you want to see on a GISsurfer map. To read more about the data parameter and other parameters that can be included in a GISsurfer link, open the GISsurfer Help page. Near the top of that page is a link for the PDF file that lists all the parameters you can use in a GISsurfer map link.

GISsurfer 'data' parameter tip

Here is how to make a GISsurfer link that will display GIS information without the need for a txt file. This is a quick and easy solution for making a map to display just a few GIS overlay layers. The following map has two GIS overlay layers. Both layers are 'on' when the map opens.

The data parameter (&data=) is used to identify a variety of information the map can display, including GIS layers. To identify a list of things, use two vertical line characters || to separate the items. Note that the word "overlay" is part of the syntax for the data parameter.

The word "overlay" is also used as a parameter (&overlay=) to identify the GIS layers that are 'on' when the map opens. The layers are turned 'on' in the order they appear in the overlay parameter. The last layer turned on will be on 'top' and therefore can be clicked to display all the attribute data.

Below is a GISsurfer link that uses the data parameter to display a stream gage layer (on 'top' and therefore clickable) and a layer that highlights rivers, streams and lakes.,-121.706543&zoom=9&basemap=USA_basemap&overlay=Lake_river_stream,Stream_gage&data=overlay^name=Lake_river_stream^url=^layers=0||overlay^name=Stream_gage^url=^layers=0