CT ECO: Growing with UConn Extension

CT ECO logoCT ECO is a website that provides access to many of Connecticut’s statewide geospatial data layers in different formats including over 9000 pdf maps, 10 map viewers (and counting), 138 data services and in some cases, data download. The website contains 18 aerial imagery datasets, the most recent having 3 inch pixels (wow!), statewide elevation with 1 foot contours (wow again!) and much more. Over 25,000 people use CT ECO each year and some days, over 150,000 data requests are made. A recent survey was conducted about the value of CT ECO to its users. The results are currently being analyzed but in a nutshell, a lot of people from different backgrounds including private business, state and local government, nonprofits, education, and citizens use CT ECO and it saves them a lot of time and money. CT ECO is a partnership between the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and UConn’s Center for Land Use Education and Research (CLEAR). The principal architect, builder and maintainer of CT ECO is Extension Educator Emily Wilson.

Article by Emily Wilson

Ocean Data for Connecticut

By Emily Wilson

I recently learned about two impressive resources for ocean-based geographic information. One is the Northeast Ocean Data Portal and the other is the New York Geographic Information Gateway. Both are well-developed websites that include a comprehensive data viewer, ancillary information and stories about how ocean information has been used with multiple benefits. The Northeast Ocean Data Portal people and New York Geographic Information Gateway people cooperate (hooray!) in order to provide the most comprehensive mapping to their audiences.

The Northeast Ocean Data Data Explorer has many categories of layers including Commercial Fishing,  Aquaculture, Habitat and Water Quality as well as a search. Be sure not to miss the individual fish species maps. Click on the Fish category and then View Individual Species. A window with 5 tabs, each representing different fish trawls including the Long Island Sounds one (LIS), opens and contains a long list of species. The maps show all sample areas and highlights where that species was found. An impressive amount of information that is easy to access and visualize.

data explorer

The New York Information Gateway Data Viewer contains loads of information for Long Island Sound. Layers are grouped into eight categories including Biological, Commercial Fishing, Habitat and more. As layers are turned on, they build a legend where they can be re-ordered, downloaded or opened in Google Earth. Nice!


For the mapping folks, both viewers make it super easy to locate the web service URLs (REST endpoints) so that they can be ingested into your own GIS. For the Northeast Data Portal, look for the icon to the right of each layer.

For the New York Gateway, expand the layer (down triangle) in the legend and then locate the lightening bolt.

Both are easy to use resources full of information.  Check them out!