Friday, July 24, 2009

Mapping the Environment

By Dustin Bilhimer, Water Quality Program

With the release of Internet mapping services like Google Earth© and Microsoft’s Virtual Earth© anybody with a computer and Internet connection can have a perspective on of our planet that was never before possible. Now you can explore your community and any part of the world from your computer desktop.

The Department of Ecology also has Internet mapping services that provide environmental information for Washington State. Click here to go to our webpage where you will find links to all of our web-map applications and searchable databases including (among many others):
We believe that when citizens know what is going on in their surrounding community, they can make better choices to improve their environment. Ecology is continually trying to improve upon these services and increase our transparency to the people of our state.

One of my favorite things to do is to look at aerial photos of our shorelines from as far back as the 1940s to see how they have changed in the last 50-60 years using our Coastal Atlas. The photo collage (right) was created from images in the atlas. Look at how the Nisqually Delta has changed since 1977. I can’t wait to see how it will change with the Nisqually Delta restoration project!

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