Many of the National Weather Service data sets are available
in formats that are able to be imported directly into Geographic
Information Systems (GIS). Data formats include downloadable shapefiles,
web services, KML files and geo referenced images.
As more data is made available in these formats, links to the data will be added to these
pages. Click one of the GIS format links below in to start exploring the NWS GIS data currently available!
This page contains links to data that are distributed
via web server technology in the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). In addition, some of the NWS data is available as geo-referenced
image files such as geo-gifs.
Keyhole Markup Language (KML) is used by a
variety of GIS and mapping applications and the specifications are
freely available to the public and available to the user community
without charge or restriction. KML is an XML-based language for
managing the display of three-dimensional geospatial data in the
programs Google Earth, Google Maps, Google Mobile, ArcGIS Explorer,
WorldWind and other GIS viewers . The word Keyhole is an earlier name
for the software that became Google Earth; the software was produced in
turn by Keyhole, Inc, which was acquired by Google in 2004. (more about KML)
Shapefiles are a geospatial vector data format for
geographic information systems software. Shapefiles spatially describe
points, lines and polygons. A "Shapefile" commonly refers to a
collection of files with ".shp", ".shx", ".dbf", and other extensions
on a common prefix name (i.e., "lakes.shp"). SHP files can be viewed in
GIS viewers as well as more sophisticated GIS applications. (more about Shapefiles)
National Weather Service Base maps are available in Shapefiles.
The AWIPS map database
catalog contains background map data in Shapefile format that are used
by the National Weather Service (NWS) for use by the user community.
These data consist of a variety of official NWS forecast zones and
county designations used by be NWS. In addition other data that might
be of interest and that are used by the (NWS) Advanced Weather
Information Processing System (AWIPS) are available through the catalog.
NWS provides access to watches, warnings, advisories, and other similar products in the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) and Atom Syndication Format (ATOM)..