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Thematic Category Definitions

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Atmospheric/Climate data pertain to physical characteristics of the earth's upper and lower atmosphere and space environment, including climate and weather. For example, clouds, wind, precipitation, temperature, humidity, and solar radiation data layers are stored under ATM.

Boundaries and other defined areas are polygons delineating a political, jurisdictional, thematic, functional or categorical distinct area. This includes all geo-political boundaries (Country, State, County, City); all other governmental boundaries (BLM, Forest Service, DOE, Tribal, borough, neighborhood); jurisdictional boundaries like emergency response or police jurisdictions; functional or categorical areas like soil and water conservation districts, wildfire incident boundaries, voting or school districts; and institutional or managerial-defined areas like loading, staging, process or recreation areas and other distinct areas that don't fit in any other specific thematic group. Watersheds and biomes, while categorically distinct, belong directly to the specific thematic categories HYD and ECO, respectively.

Ecological information is data characterizing the distribution of ecological, faunal, or vegetational attributes or phenomena, including wildfire (i.e. Cerro Grande). Includes vegetation, potential vegetation, and habitat distributions; species range distributions; and biome, ecotonal, or eco-physiographic distributions.

ENV/Environmental Monitoring
Environmental monitoring data relate to sampling sites or data for environmental characterization or regulatory compliance that pertain to anthropogenic factors or constituents. This includes locations or distributions of hazardous or toxic materials, point and non-point sources of various pollutants, natural or manmade allergens, water and air quality sampling stations, and areal extent or storage of any of the previous, such as waste management and material disposal areas.

Geologic data, including surface and subsurface data, are points, arcs, or polygons representing geologic features or phenomena. Generally, this includes the location or delineation of areas 1) with particular geologic characteristics, such as composition or age based on physical structure, macro-texture, shape or form and/or 2) representing interactions with physical, surface or near-surface processes (e.g., biogenic soil formation and sediment transport via surface water, wind, or ice). This may include the relationships of predominately exposed and subsurface rocks. This can also include processes or products, historical categorization, and surficial physical geography (to include topography) that are associated with geologic or geographic features.  This also includes soils, defined as the distribution of unconsolidated material above bedrock and/or the natural medium for plant growth.

Hydrology data are points, arcs, or polygons representing the location, or linear or areal distribution of any hydrographic or hydrologic surface or subsurface feature, property, or compositional makeup. This includes surface springs, ephemeral or perennial streams or other surface drainage features, as well as subsurface features such as aquifers. Wells, while not strictly a hydrographic feature, are included since they commonly provide important information about subsurface water quality, water bearing strata, subsurface potentiometric elevations and other hydrologic information.

Hypsography/Topography data characterize the elevation of the earth's surface. This includes points, arcs, polygons, and grids that represent the distribution of the absolute or relative areas of the earth's solid surface in elevations above, or below, a given datum, usually sea level. This category includes LIDAR, DEMs (Digital Elevation Models), and various remotely sensed data that characterize elevation.

Imagery data are two-dimensional data representation including aerial photos, orthophotos, multi-spectral output, and other remotely sensed data. These data have not been classified or interpreted. An example of classified data involves combining various spectral bands to produce a vegetation data layer. Images for each of the multi-spectral bands are located under IMG. The vegetation data layer is located under ECO.

INF/Infrastructure Data
Infrastructure data are points, arcs and polygons as well as data that support the maintenance of a facility or facilities, roads, trails, railroads, or other vehicular or pedestrian transportation networks, or an essential public service, utility, or commodity.  This includes facilities that provide access, safety, hazard mitigation, and an enjoyable and aesthetic workplace for employees, other workers, and the visiting public to the facility. Generally associated with an engineering department or division, this includes buildings and structures; guard rails, ramps and handicap access; landscaping features; fences, gates and pads; and the location of safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and chemical showers (does not include monitoring stations or equipment).  This category includes public utility features such as water, sewer, electric, phone and gas service lines, boxes, or substations.  The category also includes stormwater or surface drainage, sewage lagoons and other settling or evaporation pits or ponds designed to treat sanitary or non-toxic municipal waste or industrial waste.

Regulatory data are points and polygons that locate or demark areas at, or in which, some activity is governed by a governmental or legal regulation or law. Includes Potential Release Sites (PRSs), disposal pits, outfalls, and Material Disposal Areas (MDAs).

Geographical reference data are points, arcs/grids, polygons that provide some reference point or system to aid in mapping the surface of the earth. Examples include horizontal and/or vertical geodetic control points, USGS standard map series grids (7.5 and 15 degree quadrangles), and the Bureau of Land Management Public Land Survey (PLS) system.

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Last Revised:  17-Nov-2003

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