A Web GIS for Sea Ice Information and an Ice Service Archive
Sea ice data has significant scientific value for climate, environmental impact and engineering studies leading to the construction of facilities in Arctic waters, as well as to support tourism and fishing planning. Large collections of such data are acquired, compiled, produced and maintained by national and international agencies such as the Canadian Ice Service (CIS). Some of these data collections have been made available online. However, current Internet-based sea ice data dissemination practices do not foster easy access to and use of the data, especially given the amount of the archived sea ice data and the nature of their spatial changes and high temporal variations. This article reports a research effort in developing a web-based geographical information system (GIS) that facilitates the access and use of the historical sea ice data. The system provides online access, exploration, visualization, and analysis of the archived data, mostly in the form of ice charts, within a web-based GIS. The results from a prototype development indicate that web GIS, developed using Rich Internet Application (RIA) technologies, provides added values in serving sea ice data and suggests that such a system can better accommodate more advanced sea ice data access and analysis tools.
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