NIDIS Launches New Interactive Maps on Drought.gov
August 10, 2021
Read Time: 3 minutes
The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) is pleased to announce two new interactive features on Drought.gov that will make it easier for decision makers and the public across the U.S. to share timely, reliable drought information. These new maps further the goal of making Drought.gov a one-stop shop for data, decision-support products, and resources.
First, new customization and sharing options for all maps make it easier than ever to create custom, high-quality maps to include in drought or risk mitigation plans, share on social media or in media briefings, communicate with stakeholders, or report on drought impacts across the United States.
Second, interactive economic sector maps that show sector-specific information alongside key drought and climate indicators provide vital information for private and public sector decision makers to monitor, plan for, and mitigate the impacts of drought.
Together, these new communication tools will help decision makers and the public respond to the current drought, prepare for future drought conditions, and improve the nation’s long-term drought resilience. These tools were launched in collaboration with NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information.
Interactive, Customizable Maps for Easy Sharing
All maps throughout Drought.gov now have new customization options, allowing users to zoom in on any map to view local conditions and to download high-quality, shareable map images. Users can click the download icon in the top left corner of any map to view a larger, interactive version, which they can customize, download, and share, plus:
Zoom in to your geographic region
View any map layer alongside the current U.S. Drought Monitor
Add state or county boundary lines, or change the background map layer
Adjust the transparency of map layers
Display Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico conditions alongside the contiguous U.S.
Download a high-quality map image
New Interactive Sector Maps
In addition to the enhanced map features, NIDIS also worked with NCEI to launch new interactive sector maps in the “By Sector” section of Drought.gov. On each sector page, users can click the gold button to “View Interactive Map” to view the new interactive sector maps.
These GIS maps display data for different economic sectors—from agriculture to water utilities to public health—alongside key climate and drought indicators from partners across government, academia, and the private sector.
With these interactive maps, users can:
View current conditions and/or forecasts for drought indices, precipitation, soil moisture, water supply, evaporative demand, and more
View drought conditions and impacts side by side (e.g., drought and wildfires)
Easily compare data at different timescales, such as 7-day, 14-day, and 28-day average streamflow conditions
Adjust the transparency of map layers and change the basemap
Add boundary lines for states, counties, tribal nations, watersheds, and congressional districts
For example, the Wildfire Management Sector map allows decision makers to view up-to-date active wildfire information alongside drought indicators, fire weather outlooks, air quality and smoke data, and more. This can provide vital information about drought impacts and inform future planning.
Drought is a significant threat to communities and businesses across the nation, with unique challenges, cascading impacts, and associated hazards. These new tools for visualizing and communicating drought are just one way that NIDIS is working with partners to provide accurate, timely, and integrated information on drought conditions and associated risks to facilitate proactive decision making.
Want to learn more about these two new features? Watch this short video on the new map customization options throughout Drought.gov and the new interactive sector maps. Or, reach out to the U.S. Drought Portal team with questions or feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.