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Maps and Mapping Resources

Google Earth

Google Earth is free software that functions like a digital globe. The base of the globe is a collection of satellite images joined together to create an aerial view of the entire planet. Google Earth also allows users to view geographic information like place names and roads, with a menu of interactive layers of information. Google Earth uses an open source platform which allows users to display their own geographic information in custom made layers known as KML files. There is an enormous amount of information shared on the internet through the Google Earth community.

To download the free Google Earth software, follow this link to the Google Earth website.

Google Maps

Google Maps is a web based application which allows users to view the same images in Google Earth in an internet browser. Users can also create simple custom maps online with Google Maps. Add points, lines, and shapes, choose from three base layers, and import KML and GeoRSS files.

Simply create a Google ID and login. Then go to http://maps.google.com, and click on My Maps. Now you are ready to start editing your own custom maps.


For help using Google Earth and Google Maps follow this link to Google Earth and Maps Tutorials.

New! Google Earth Outreach for Non-Profit Organizations

"Google Earth Outreach gives non-profits and public benefit organizations the knowledge and resources they need to visualize their cause and tell their story in Google Earth & Maps to the hundreds of millions of people who use them." - GE

Follow this link to learn more about Google Earth Outreach, grants, and the Google Earth Community.

Watershed Information in Google Earth

Use the Map Viewer below to explore the Watersheds of Seacoast Maine and New Hampshire.

Google Earth Data

Once you have Google Earth installed on your computer you are ready to start exploring information related to the Watersheds of Seacoast Maine and New Hampshire. Click on a link to view the information in Google Earth. When prompted, choose “Open With”, and choose Google Earth from the list of applications.

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System Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP) Data

The System Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP) is a national program within the National Estuarine Research Reserve System that identifies and tracks short-term variability and long-term changes in estuarine ecosystems. SWMP monitors for three main factors: 1) Abiotic monitoring (weather, water quality, and nutrients); 2) Biological monitoring (habitat change and biodiversity); and 3) Watershed and land use changes. Every 15 minutes - 24 hours a day and 365 days a year - the following environmental factors are recorded by Wells NERR and the other 26 reserves across the nation: Water and air temperature, pH (acidity), suspended particles in the water column (turbidity), the amount of salt in the water (salinity), dissolved oxygen, wind speed and direction, relative humidity, barometric pressure, photosynthetic active radiation (PAR), and precipitation. Nutrients are also monitored monthly at all water quality sites. In addition to its use by researchers at the Reserve, this information is sent to a centralized data-collection station in South Carolina and is available for use by scientists and resource managers across the nation.

Follow this link to access Wells Reserve SWMP Data from the NOAA Centralized Data Management Office.

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Online Mapping Resources

Data and Internet Maps for Citizens and Community Coalitions

Learn about your community! On this site you can make GIS (geographic information system) maps, as well as some charts and graphs, of your community data at the county, subcounty (i.e., town/city), and Maine school district levels. No special training or software is needed to make the maps. The mapping tool allows you to select groupings of towns or school districts or counties, so you can see the data for your specific region of interest or service area.

Data available for mapping, and in some cases charting and graphing, on this site includes:

  • Census 2000 data at the county and subcounty levels, USA
  • REIS (Regional Economic Information System) 2003 data at the county level, USA
  • Maine Youth Drug & Alcohol Use Data (MYDAUS) 2004 at the county level
  • Maine Department of Education 2003 data selections at the school district level
  • Maine DHHS health data selections
  • More data will be added in the future, based on interest, availability, and funding.
  • For a full list of the data elements currently available via the mapping tool, please see "How to Use This Data" to the left. Data source links may be found in the FAQs section to the left.


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For more direct access to GIS data for the entire states of Maine and New Hampshire Visit:

The Maine Office of GIS (MEOGIS) is a clearing house of mapping data for the State of Maine. Containing data and information for everything from bedrock to railroads, it is an invaluable resource for mapping within the state. Also available is an aerial photo viewer that allows anyone to view the available aerial photos of the state.                       

The New Hampshire Geographically Referenced Analysis and Information Transfer System (NH GRANIT) is a cooperative project to create, maintain, and make available a statewide geographic data base serving the information needs of state, regional, and local decision-makers.

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Custom Mapping

The GIS department at the Wells Reserve Produces maps for a variety of organizations including local landtrusts and towns as well as for Wells Reserve and visiting researchers. Below are some examples of the types of maps produced. Any questions about maps and thier availabilty can be directed to suebickford@wellsnerr.org

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The Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve at Laudholm Farm, Wells, Maine Copyright 2006 All rights reserved. Collaboration with NOAA CSC, Charleston SC