ArcGIS Living Atlas

2021 ArcGIS Living Atlas year in review

ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World is the foremost collection of curated geographic information from around the globe. It includes ready-to-use basemaps, maps, layers, apps, and more from Esri and the global GIS user community. Visit the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World website where you can browse content, view the blog, and learn how you can contribute.

ArcGIS Living Atlas is updated frequently and has evolved and expanded greatly over the past year. Content is published and released whenever it’s been finalized, making it easy to overlook an update or new offering. The ArcGIS Living Atlas News is published as a regular summary of new content and updates.

The following are highlights from each Living Atlas News blog article, with links to specific sections and the entire post.

 

Quick links

Use the links below to jump to a specific ArcGIS Living Atlas News highlights.

More information

Note that this summary focuses on newly introduced content throughout the year. World Imagery, World Elevation, and Living Atlas basemaps are updated regularly using authoritative sources and contributions via the Community Maps Program. Other content updates may also not be mentioned here. For all the information and details, see the ArcGIS Living Atlas News or the ArcGIS Living Atlas blog.


 

February 2021

Highlights from ArcGIS Living Atlas News (February 2021).

ArcGIS Living Atlas News (February 2021)
View ArcGIS Living Atlas News (February 2021)

Living Atlas Apps

U.S. Vessel Traffic lets you explore the paths of vessels in and around U.S. waters You can view patterns and trends by time, vessel type, and place.

USA Wildfires is updated to enhance smoke visualization and better time animation. Pop-ups were also improved.

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Apps (February 2021).

Basemaps

A new OpenStreetMap (OSM) Daylight map is released in beta. The map is based on the latest version of the OSM Daylight Map Distribution and features increased quality and consistency checks, as well as Microsoft building footprints.

The Arctic Imagery basemap is updated to include TerraColor NextGen Imagery and features a new background style.

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Basemaps (February 2021).

World Elevation

World Elevation servers hosting dynamic image services (Terrain and TopoBathy ) and tools (Profile, Viewshed and Summarize Elevation) were upgraded to provide enhanced security and performance. World Elevation services support requests only over HTTPS in compliance with the ArcGIS Online HTTPS enforcement.

For details and more information, see Living Atlas World Elevation (February 2021).

Policy Maps

Over 16 new maps based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) are published. The Living Atlas team maintains a collection of over 100 layers containing vital information about our nation and its people. You can map more than 1,700 ACS attributes covering a wide range of demographic topics such as income, housing, age, race, education and more. See the entire collection in the Current-Year ACS Map and App Examples group.

An Omnibus Broadband Scores map is published, showing broadband availability for every neighborhood in the U.S. and outlying areas, and showing a score for every state, county, tract, block group, and block.

Monthly updates continue for Bureau of Labor Statistics Monthly Unemployment (latest 14 months).

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Policy Maps (February 2021).


 

April 2021

Highlights from ArcGIS Living Atlas News (April 2021).

ArcGIS Living Atlas News (April 2021)
View ArcGIS Living Atlas News (April 2021)

Basemaps

New paper texture vector tile layers let you add a creative touch to your basemaps. Available textures are crinkled paper, watercolor paper, poster paper, folded paper, and parchment.

Watermark layers let you mark your maps for special purposes, such as draft, prototype, preview, or internal.

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Basemaps (April 2021).

Environment

WorldClim Global Mean Precipitation, a multidimensional layer displaying global mean precipitation estimates from WorldClim, is published. This layer provides monthly and annual precipitation estimates.

Global Water Provinces displays hydrologic area units that merge major river basins with political boundaries for use in water planning.

U.S. High Tide Flooding Projection Scenarios shows the number of days flooded per year from 2000 to 2100 for low, intermediate-low, intermediate, intermediate-high, high, and extreme scenarios.

Two new layers from the USDA Census of Agriculture were published: Winter Wheat Production and Hay Production.

Protected areas layer updates were made using the latest PAD-US 2.1 data.

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Environment (April 2021).

Policy Maps

New maps and apps based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) data are now available in the Living Atlas. Maps are also available in Esri Maps for Public Policy.

New broadband accessibility maps and apps using the latest FCC Form 477 Fixed Broadband Deployment layer are added.

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Policy Maps (April 2021).

Analysis tools

Twelve ready-to-use deep learning models were added. These models have been trained on data from a variety of geographies so you no longer have to invest time and energy into manually extracting features or training your own deep learning model. View all Living Atlas deep learning packages.

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Analysis tools (April 2021).


 

June 2021

Highlights from ArcGIS Living Atlas News (June 2021).

ArcGIS Living Atlas News (June 2021)
View ArcGIS Living Atlas News (June 2021)

Living Atlas Apps

ArcGIS Living Atlas Live Feeds Status is released, delivering a summarized view of each feed with current status and usage trends, along with an RSS link to subscribe to service notifications. The drop-down displays additional details such as the time of the last update, usage trend, 1-hour and 6-hour usage rates, feature counts, and time of next update check. The Live Feeds Status page is refreshed every 15 minutes on the quarter hour. For more information, see Introducing ArcGIS Living Atlas Live Feeds Status.

Grocery Store Access answers the question: How do people get to a grocery store in your city? Enter a ZIP code, city, or point of interest to learn how many stores people can reach in a 10-minute walk or drive. Interactive charts update as you move around the map or draw shapes.

Unemployment Pulse shows U.S. employment rates as compact trend lines. Updated monthly, it presents a moving 14-month window of unemployment data at the state and county level, with national comparisons.

Two dashboards are also added to Living Atlas: Evaluating the Digital Divide in the US and School District Characteristics and Socioeconomic Information.

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Apps (June 2021).

Basemaps

OpenStreetMap (OSM) vector maps are updated with the Daylight Map Distribution of OSM data. See all OSM basemaps in the OpenStreetMap Vector Basemap group. OSM vector tile layers and web maps will be updated every few weeks using the latest Daylight Distribution data.

Accessible basemaps designed to meet WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) and US Federal Government Section 508 are introduced.

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Basemaps (June 2021).

Imagery

New Landsat Collection 2 imagery is announced.

Black Marble Nighttime is added, providing a useful source to identify nighttime lights from cities, fires, boats, and other phenomena. The layer presents a false color band combination of data collected by the VIIRS instrument on the joint NASA/NOAA Suomi-NPP satellite.

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Imagery (June 2021).

Environment

New USA SSURGO layers are published using data from USDA NRCS: USA SSURGO-Irrigated Capability and USA SSURGO – Nonirrigated Capability.

New USA Drought Intensity layers are published using data from the U.S. Drought Monitor, providing information about drought conditions across the U.S. These are published using the Esri live feeds methodology and updated weekly.

A series of 15 new Wildfire Risk layers is available to help map and analyze risk from wildfires in your community.

Esri 2020 Land Cover is a new hosted tile image service displaying a composite of global land use/land cover (LULC) predictions, produced by Impact Observatory, for the year 2020 at 10 meter resolution. The map is derived from ESA Sentinel-2 imagery.

Flood Factor risk statistics provides aggregated flood risk statistics at the ZIP code, county, congressional district, and state levels from the online flood risk assessment tool, Flood Factor®. This is the complete dataset containing the full offering of flood risk statistics from First Street Foundation, a non-profit research and technology group defining America’s flood risk.

Seven new multidimensional image services displaying ocean chlorophyll levels have been added. These layers show levels in daily and monthly intervals and are suitable for analysis using ArcGIS Pro, and intended to drive better decision making and planning in support of the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 14.1.

Montly Satellite Precipitation Estimates (IMERG) is published, providing global precipitation estimates through time. The layer is updated monthly as new data becomes available.

Analysis-ready biomass and vulnerability layers are added, leveraging data from the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Environment (June 2021).

Policy Maps

Eleven new maps and apps based on ACS data have been published and are available in Living Atlas, with maps available in Esri Maps for Public Policy.

The 2020 Census State Apportionment layer contains data from the 2010 and 2020 Census apportionment for the U.S. House of Representatives. The layer contains information about the population, representative seats, and the change over time. Eight maps based on the layer that explore different facets of the data have been published and appear in the 2020 State Apportionment Atlas.

A collection of maps and layers have been published using data from Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía (INEGI) National Institute of Statistics and Geography. The National Institute of Statistics and Geography is an agency of the Mexican Government serving to fulfill the National System of Statistical and Geographical Information of the country.

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Policy Maps (June 2021).

Analysis tools

Five new pre-trained geospatial deep learning models have been added. For more information, see Pretrained deep learning models.

For details, see Living Atlas Analysis tools (June 2021).


 

September 2021

Highlights from ArcGIS Living Atlas News (September 2021).

ArcGIS Living Atlas News (September 2021)
View ArcGIS Living Atlas News (September 2021)

Living Atlas Apps

Wayback imagery is a digital archive of the World Imagery basemap with more than 120 different versions of imagery captured over the last 6+ years. World Imagery Wayback lets you browse for changes in your area of interest and lets you make a map with versions of interest. Animate mode is a newly added capability that makes it easy to view selected imagery using playback animation.

Esri Drought Aware improves awareness of drought in the U.S. and its potential impacts on population and agriculture through the integration of historical drought data, current drought status, drought outlooks, and agricultural impacts. This new app replaces Drought Tracker.

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Apps (September 2021).

Imagery

VIIRS Nighttime Lights Monthly Cloud-Free Composite provides an opportunity for visualizing, measuring, monitoring, and analyzing human activities, at both a regional and global scale.The content is useful to pinpoint urbanized areas and begin to detect patterns of change related to urbanization, population growth, economic activity, access to electricity, and more.

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Imagery (September 2021).

Environment

First Street Foundation, an Esri non-profit partner, has contributed several layers and maps to support understanding flood risk in the United Sates. Their Flood Factor data is meant to extend FEMA’s flood mapping, and includes all forms of flood risk, from heavy rains to coastal storms, sea level rise, river flooding, and future climate modeling.

Ecological Coastal Units (ECUs) allows for the visualization and query of any stretch of coastline on Earth, except for Antarctica. The underlying data are 4 million 1km or shorter coastal segments, each of which is attributed with values from ten ecological variables representing the adjacent ocean, the adjacent land, and the coastline itself.

Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) is a live feed used to analyze meteorological droughts. SPI estimates the deviation of precipitation from the long-term probability function at different temporal periods.

Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) are a way to understand how climate may change based on human behavior, capturing future trends to enable predictions of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.

U.S. Urban Heat Island Mapping Campaign uses a combination of Sentinel-2 satellite data along with temperature readings recorded from car and bike-mounted sensors to generate detailed maps of the urban areas most impacted by heat. This feature layer shows the current campaign results summarized by neighborhood and includes temperature, environmental, and demographic information

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Environment (September 2021).

Open access national datasets

Esri Federal Datasets have been added to the Living Atlas to better serve the ArcGIS and broader geospatial communities by providing access to a collection of curated, ready-to-use layers that are cached and updated from federal sources. The content is licensed under open terms of use to facilitate and encourage widespread use, and references the source federal agency metadata. For more information, see Esri Provides Open Access to Key Federal Geospatial Data.

For details and more information, see Living Atlas open access national datasets (September 2021).

Policy Maps

Census redistricting data and maps are now available for the entire country and for individual states, including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The data is aggregated from state down to block level and includes an additional six levels of geography: state legislative districts (upper and lower), congressional districts, Core Based Statistical Areas (CBSA), incorporated places, and Census Designated Places (CDP).

Atlas of Census 2020 Redistricting Data contains a set of ready-to-use thematic maps of some of the more popular redistricting attributes. These include predominant race and ethnicity, housing vacancy rates, total population, and more.

Race Alone or in Combination is an atlas featuring the new way the Census tabulates population by race, alone or in combination with any other race. This collection of maps shows the percentage of each race category in according to the 2020 decennial Census.

Predominant Cause of Death per 100,000 uses data from the County Health Rankings dataset, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The map shows five causes of death: drug poisonings, suicides, motor vehicle crashes, firearm fatalities, and homicides.

Ratio of population to primary care physicians shows the ratio using County Health Rankings dataset.

Where are areas with violent crime offenses? shows where there are violent crime offenses per 100,000 population in the U.S. and is based on the County Health Rankings dataset.

New maps and apps based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) data are published along with two atlases: Atlas of Internet Connectivity and Exploring Race/Ethnicity in the US with American Community Survey (ACS).

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Policy Maps (September 2021).

Analysis tools

Three new pre-trained deep learning models were added: Crowd Counting, Object Tracking, and Building Footprint Extraction (Africa).

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Analysis tools (September 2021).


 

December 2021

Highlights from ArcGIS Living Atlas News (December 2021).

ArcGIS Online Living Atlas News (December 2021)
View ArcGIS Living Atlas News (December 2021)

Basemaps

Porcelain is a new basemap that uses a combination of blend modes and effects with imagery, hillshade, and reference layers to create a muted landcover-tinted natural appearance. It is appropriate for reference mapping, physical/environmental geography themes, or thematic maps where a muted representation of the natural environment provides helpful context.

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Basemaps (December 2021).

Environment

A collection of maps and layers from First Street Foundation is published. The foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) research and technology group working to define America’s growing climate risk. The Foundation uses transparent, peer-reviewed methodologies to calculate the past, present, and future climate risk and economic impact to individual homes and properties across the United States. The Foundation’s data empowers Americans to learn about and protect themselves from increasing risk associated with climate change.

FEMA National Risk Index helps illustrate the U.S. communities most at risk for 18 natural hazards. These layers visualize natural hazard risk metrics and include information about expected annual losses, social vulnerability, and community resilience. The layers include state, county, and census tract level geographies.

National Geographic Pristine Seas is a collection of content documenting global ocean conservation rankings using ocean variables used to prioritize conservation actions aimed at biodiversity protection.

Seabed Lithology is a digital map of seafloor lithologies based on descriptions of nearly 14,500 samples from original cruise reports that have been interpolated using a vector machine algorithm.

Latest Shipboard Observations publishes hourly water and air temperature, wind, and wave information from shipboard sensors. National Data Buoy Center Station Observations publishes hourly water and air temperature, wind, and wave information from fixed buoy stations. Both are compiled by the NDBC.

Current Gulf Stream Boundary shows the northern and southern Gulf Stream wall boundary and is updated daily.

US Wind Turbine Database shows land-based and offshore wind turbines in the United States. The layer includes detailed information about each turbine, including height, capacity, manufacturer, and more.

USA Offshore Oil and Gas Platforms shows  drilling platforms within the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Southern California. The point features in this layer contain attributes about the details of drilling platform structures such as the type of structure, and whether personnel are present. Additional attributes from the Platform Structures table describe the physical characteristics of each platform.

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Environment (December 2021).

Demographics

WorldPop has partnered with Esri to publish annual gridded population datasets, covering 241 countries, territories and dependencies, for the 2000-2020 period. These multitemporal layers represent a 1-km grid-cell level spatial distribution of total population, sex and age cohorts, and population density providing a consistent and comparable framework for data integration and analysis.

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Demographics (December 2021).

Policy Maps

Twenty-three new items based on Census 2020 data were published. This content joins other content that can be found in the following groups: Decennial 2020 Census Map and App Examples and Decennial 2020 Census Data Layers. In addition, three new Census 2020 atlases joined previous published atlases. A collection of Census 2020 chart apps were authored, delivering an interactive map and chart experience to explore the data.

New maps and apps based onU.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) data are published. All of the content can found in Living Atlas and maps available in Esri Maps for Public Policy.

Recent content is also added based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, showing labor market activity, working conditions, price changes, and productivity in the U.S.

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Policy Maps (December 2021).

Analysis tools

New pre-trained deep learning models have been added: Ship Detection (SAR), Mangrove Classification (Landsat 8), Well Pad Detection – Permian Basin, and Human Settlements Classification.

For details and more information, see Living Atlas Analysis tools (December 2021).


 

More information

For more information about ArcGIS Living Atlas, see:

About the author

Corporate tech evangelist and senior principal product manager at Esri, focusing on ways to broaden access to geographic information and helping users succeed with the ArcGIS online system. On a good day I'm making a map, on a great day I'm on one. Follow @bernszukalski or email bszukalski@esri.com

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