SpatialNews.com Feature Article
Iraq & Middle East Maps and data
by GeoCommunity Staff, March 2003
The war in Iraq has thrust GIS and Geospatial technologies into the limelight.
Each day the public is presented with maps, imagery, and other spatial data products in an effort to provide a visual representation of the latest developments. The following directory provides some valuable pointers and descriptions of companies that are providing GIS-based solutions to help the public follow the war in Iraq. If you know of additional resources that are of interest please send us some details.
i-cubed announced its comprehensive Middle East Mosaics including complete coverage of Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Bahrain, the West Bank, The Gaza Strip and portions of Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. This natural-color image mosaic provides a unique overview of geography, terrain and man-made features in the Middle East and is an excellent visual backdrop for print and television media. i-cubed created the mosaic by fusing 30-meter natural-color and 15-meter panchromatic Landsat 7 imagery. The resulting mosaic displays 15-meter natural-color imagery. The Iraq/Kuwait and Israel areas consist of 32 and four scenes, respectively. Bahrain was created with a single scene. Individual scenes were color balanced to create the final mosaic.
ImageLinks has created an Active Archive that generates color-fused imagery of Baghdad centered on Baghdad International Airport for use by media outlets. Acquired by DigitalGlobes QuickBird satellite on March 7, 2003, the images can be accessed by acredited media through the Active Archive.
LandInfo has a section devoted to maps and data of the Middle East (www.landinfo.com/MiddleEast.htm). For each county a geo-political description along with a list of available data products. Data includes Roads, Hydrograpy, Contours, Building Footprints, Satellite Imagery, Sub meter to 30-meter res. data., and
Landsat 7 imagery.
Telemorphic has launched a new public access Internet GIS and Satellite Image Visualization System for Baghdad and a similar system for the entire country of Iraq. Content on these sites currently includes vector and imagery datasets from NIMA, NASA, and USGS (VMap0, DOI-10, Landsat, MODIS, GTOPO30). Also includes georeferenced versions of the recently released NIMA Special Reference Graphics for Baghdad (fairly detailed 1:40,000 scale source map) and the entire country of Iraq. Users of all levels can interact with and compare the various map layers and satellite imagery, create and download custom image products, and design and print custom maps, all from within an easy-to-use browser interface. The site is powered by Maplicity, Telemorphic's lightweight (335 kb) web browser GIS/visualization solution that adds unique desktop-like GIS and interactive geographic imaging functionality to any ArcIMS-based Internet GIS.
Screen shot of Baghdad mapping application
Screen shot of Iraq mapping application
Eurimage Baghdad Images - The popular European image provider has made available a Gallery of
QuickBird Multispectral imagery of Baghdad collected March 27 2003. 90 cm, QuickBird images are available for purchase from the company.
Bill Thoen (popular moderator of the MapInfo list) has created a sample data set from CVGMAP that includes 13 layers covering all of Iraq and made it available via anonymous FTP (see image below) . Data are available in ArcView SHP or as a MapInfo Workspace via ftp (1.5 MB). CVGMAP is a
data/software program that allows you to make maps of 1:1M scale
data anywhere in the world for MapInfo, ArcView, Surfer, and
Geographix software. Details Here
Sample of MapInfo data
LeadDog releases Baghdad Vector Map - LeadDog Consulting recently announced the release of Baghdad vector street mapping available in all common GIS data formats.
Baghdad Landsat Image - Earthstar Geographics is making available Satellite views of Baghdad, Iraq and surrounding
areas for $299; composed from two Landsat 7 satellite scenes captured October 2002. This Enhanced
natural color image at 15-meter resolution in UTM and Lat Long projections is delivered in ECW image format. (see image below)
The National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) has released to the public three special reference maps of Baghdad, Iraq and the Middle East. NIMA produced these maps as tools to help its public affairs office and other government public affairs offices in their efforts to discuss issues with the media and public that might be related to the areas depicted. The unclassified maps, also referred to by some users as reference graphics, are suitable for reference only and should not be used for any other purpose
Maps are available as Hi-Res .JPG and .TIF formats or, optionally, GIS users can download the images in Mr.SID format.
Below is an image of Iraq taken from ORBIMAGE's OrbView-2 "SeaWiFS" satellite at 1km resolution Thursday, March 20th, 2003. The March 21st image clearly shows thick black smoke from burning oil well fires near Basra in Southern Iraq. Image Courtesy of ORBIMAGE. ORBIMAGE, headquartered in Dulles, Virginia, is a leading global provider of Earth imagery products and services, with a planned constellation of four digital remote sensing satellites - http://www.orbimage.com
Keyhole EarthViewer lets users 'fly' through a contiguous mosaic of the region, zooming into hi-res detail from a global view, while manipulating the perspective in 3D. Keyhole procures its imagery from partners including Digital Globe to create the easiest to use, most visually compelling digital picture of the earth that is complemented with a variety of feature and point data like roads and landmarks. Keyhole EarthViewer is currently being used on CNN, ABC, and CBS to provide a deeper perspective on world events. There is a free trial available at http://www.earthviewer.com. Pricing for the professional version is $699 per one year subscription and for the consumer version only $79 per year. In the coverage list of cities, 2 ft resolution imagery of Baghdad, Iraq is available.
CNN Maps - In their special report on the war in Iraq, CNN is providing a number of maps that show
the location of military targets, WMD sites, and US bases. Some satellite imagery is also available for viewing.
CNN's Active Maps developed back in 1998 show a number of themes that resulted in the Gulf War.
BBC News - a number of Iraq key maps showing weapon sites, presidential palace sites, bases, and oilfields.
Middle East Imagery - high-resolution commercial imagery is available from ImageExpress. Baghdad (845 sq km) 60 cm color orthomosaic imagery for $14,995 or $20/sq km. Same area at 1.2
meter and Baghdad 5.0 meter. Color orthomosaic of Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Kuwait and Qatar
at 30 meters.
NIMA Place name data - these data developed by NIMA have thousands of point features revealing features like populated places,
areas of interest, transportation features, hypsography, etc... The data are in ASCII text format and easily imported into most popular GIS software.
Iraq Maps and Geography from National Geographic
- Maps and news about Iraq from the NGS. Shop for maps, globes, atlases, and much more. They also provide a newsletter devoted to maps and feature a map of the week. The search for a map utility is very useful to quickly access what you need. This is a very handy resource for students requiring facts and outline maps for projects.
Online Map Collections
Arab Gateway - nothing hosted internally, however, an impressive collection of links to other sites hosting maps of Iraq. Search for general, military, economic, and topographic maps.
Iraq Research - an Online depository of documents concerning Iraq. This resource has a number of static maps available for viewing and printing. Themes include oil/gas fields, relief, political, economic, and more.
Global Security.org is another fine resource providing outline maps and a large number of useful thematic maps.
University of Texas, Austin - the well known Perry-Castaņeda Library Map Collection has an impressive list of static maps for viewing (JPG format). Select from county, city, thematic, historical, and detailed maps.
CIA World FactBook - another popular favorite of geographers around the Globe, the factbook provides maps, statistics, facts, tables, and documents on just about everything
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