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. Government agencies at all levels are hosting data on GIS servers. Anyone with the right tech savvy can display data from those servers.
Using this feature I have produced the following GISsurfer maps. Each time you open any of these maps or turn on an overlay layer, data flows from a government GIS server to your screen. Usually this will be the most recent authoritative data available to the public.
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. The order in which you turn layers on greatly affects the appearance of the map.
To get the most benefit from any map, please click Map tips in the upper left corner. Usually the map legend will be on the 'Map tips' page.
If you click the 'top' overlay layer then usually you will see a display with all the attribute data the GIS server has for the thing that you clicked. Sometimes the attribute data includes a link that leads to more information. Don't know what 'top' means? Please open any map you see below and read the Map tips.
Want to make your own customized link for any of these maps?
1. Make the map look on your screen the way you want it to look when it opens.
2. Click Menu ==> Link to this map. Very useful!
Rain and Flood Map
Wildland Fire Map
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.
Like to know how it works?
Each map link includes a txtfile 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.
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 txtfile parameter and other parameters that can be included in a GISsurfer link, open the GISsurfer homepage and click Menu ==> Help. Then near the top of the page, click the link for the PDF file that lists all the parameters you can use in a GISsurfer map link.
GISsurfer 'inline' tip
Here is how to make a GISsurfer link that will display GIS data without the need for a txt file. This is a quick and easy solution for looking at just a few GIS overlay layers. The following map has two GIS overlay layers. Both layers are 'on' when the map opens.
The inline parameter (&inline=) is used to identify GIS layers the map can display. There are no spaces in the layer name. Use the underline character instead of a space. If you want to identify more than one GIS layer then separate them with two vertical line characters.
The overlay parameter (&overlay=) is used 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 inline parameter to display a stream gage layer (on 'top' and therefore clickable) and a layer that highlights rivers, streams and lakes.