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By way of reliable, verifiable spatial analysis and visualization, GIS helps solid earth scientists, such as geologists, ecologists, foresters, agricultural scientists, and terrestrial conservation biologists, answer a myriad of questions about spatial patterns and what process is responsible for those patterns. GIS is also a modern platform for the open sharing of data and compelling science communication at many scales: individual researchers, lab workgroups, multidepartments, multiuniversities, university-to-agency collaborations, and citizen engagement.

The earth beneath our feet


New capabilities in ArcGIS Pro enable geologists and geophysicists to view and slice seismic reflection profiles and associated geological cross sections for a better understanding of the subsurface. (Data: Dutch Geological Survey, Visualization: Nathan Shephard)

Ecological Land Units


Ecological Land Units are a massive biophysical stratification of terrestrial Earth at an unprecedented resolution of 250 m. The result is a first-ever global map of distinct physical environments and their associated land cover, all in support of planning, management, and ecosystem services assessment.

Experience the ELU apps
Try applications that make use of Ecological Land Units for exploration and analysis.
View maps and apps
ELU white paper
This Esri white paper introduces the global Ecological Land Units ArcGIS Online services.
Read the whitepaper
Research article via Wiley Online Library
Read the article "Modeling global Hammond landform regions from 250‐m elevation data."
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Research article via BioOne
Read the article "A New High-Resolution Map of World Mountains and an Online Tool for Visualizing and Comparing Characterizations of Global Mountain Distributions."
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NASA Earth Science Technology Office


This office fosters and supports experiments and prototypes with multidimensional solid earth science datasets, often in collaboration with Esri.

NASA Disaster Response


Responders need reliable, accessible, and discoverable data and products for analysis in each stage of the disaster life cycle. NASA's Earth Science Disasters Program and Center for Climate Simulation have developed portals and apps providing hazards data to many audiences. These resources help drive effective response, recovery, and resilience during and after natural hazards.

Washington Geological Survey

Geologists in Washington State are using GIS to study current landscapes, uncover the history of volcanic eruptions and ice-age floods, manage mineral and fossil resources, and identify areas at risk from landslides and tsunamis. 

National Water Model

This public-private partnership with Esri and the federal National Water Center forecasts stream flow at over 2.7 million locations across the US to deliver impact-based decision support services. Street-level water information and guidance from tools such as flood maps serve as the foundation for additional private sector water services.

Polar Geospatial Center

The Arctic and Antarctic are both leading indicators of climate change. Shifts that will eventually affect the entire planet are among the most readily visible there, and understanding these shifts is crucial. Esri partners with the University of Minnesota Polar Geospatial Center to share rich elevation models with the government and scientific communities.    

Mapping America's national parks

With the recent celebration of the National Park Service (NPS) centennial, the NPS GIS community is continuing the story that began with Mapping the Future of America's National Parks (Esri Press, 2003). A second volume highlights how GIS maps and tools continue to be an integral part of achieving the NPS mission, especially in communicating science-based decision-making. 

Blog posts: Climate and data science

Don't miss these detailed, informative, and insightful blog posts from Kevin Butler, writing on the intersection of climatology with spatiotemporal analytics and machine learning.

Story map

The Anatomy of Super Volcanoes


This project mapped ignimbrite flows in the Andes from data collected in the field or previously published.

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