[OSM-talk] fwd: Advice on watershed mapping idea

Mike Liebhold mnl at well.com
Fri Jul 20 17:00:46 BST 2007

Amy Johnson wrote:
> I'm looking for some input from people on an idea I have to develop a 
> website that catalogs watersheds. 

Wow!  what a great idea ( below)  An Open Watershed Map aggregator  
would be an extremely useful resource. As you mention below, lots of 
regional groups are working within watersheds as the natural  basic 
boundary for local ecologic restoration and management, rather than 
political boundaries which arbitrarily cross habitats and ecosystems.

I wonder how much of watershed boundries could be generated 
algorithmically along topographic ridges and high points. If you don't 
mind, I am cross-post this to the geowanking list of GIS hackers, who 
will definitely have some great ideas on how to do this - technically.  

Open Street Map,  is an already existing international cooperative 
mapping movement to create a free map of the world, that has focused, so 
far mostly on urban street maps, but is definitely a kindred group. many 
contributors might be interested in joining your project and sharing 
hard earned expertise in grassroots map making.  



Mike Liebhold
Senior Researcher
Institute for the Future

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Amy Johnson wrote:
> My initial thinking is to start with North America (mostly because 
> that's where I live) and put together boundaries for watersheds as 
> communities define them. For instance, in Portland, Oregon, there are 
> several groups that monitor watersheds. There is the Columbia Slough 
> watershed organization, the Johnson Creek watershed organization, etc. 
> These are managed on the local level, then on the city level, then 
> state wide there are management plans that affect them, and the 
> federal government also affects them.
> The way I would catalog the watersheds would be on a web mapping 
> service, so they would be available online for people to use in their 
> own mapping applications through a web service.
> My hope is to provide the beginnings of a way to look at data for this 
> particular organizational boundary, possibly allowing it to extend to 
> different scales as overlapping information becomes available.
> I am a programmer with a keen interest in ecosystems, so I am probably 
> missing a lot of the nuances on the earth science side of things and 
> need some advice on whether this would be useful.
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