An interactive web service created by federal scientists on the University of Arizona campus in cooperation with the state of Arizona Department of Water Resources with funding from the U.S. Geological Survey “brings formerly hard-to-get water information as close as a mouse click.” (UA-based scientists make water data easy to find on Net, by B. Poole, Tucson Citizen, 03.14.2008)
Data for creating and presenting the layers of information on ground-water conditions came from the USGS National Water Information System (NWIS) and the Arizona Department of Water Resources Groundwater Site Inventory). A document describes how the site was created: An Online Interactive Map Service for Displaying Ground-Water Conditions in Arizona, By Fred D Tillman, Stanley A. Leake, Marilyn E. Flynn, Jeffrey T. Cordova, and Kurt T. Schonauer. USGS, National Water Availability and Use Program, Open-File Report 2007-1436, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia 2007.
The Geological Survey map complements Arizona Wells, produced by Sustainability of semi-Arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas (SAHARA), a University of Arizona-based group that aims to foster information exchange. Arizona Wells includes much of the data used in the Geological Survey map and water quality data from the Arizona Department of Water Resources.
One of the reasons we need open, re-usable, downloadable government information is so that sites like these can be built to create new information and to make information that was once hard to use, easier to use. As the Tucson Citizen article says, “Before such interactive maps, the public had to find the data, then interpret the numbers and codes in the databases.”
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