Minnesota Natural Resource Atlas

Posted on: 4/20/2023 - Updated on: 11/06/2023

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An online mapping tool and data for natural resource planning, management, and research in Minnesota. The goal is to provide a set of basic tools for visualizing and analyzing spatial data that are free and easy to use. Users have access to over 500 data layers across the state and more ways to visualize, analyze, and share spatial data and information.

Small organizations, including many that work on natural resource issues, often lack the capacity to use spatial data in their decision-making processes. This has generally required expensive software and considerable specialized training. Researchers at the Natural Resources Research Institute, along with collaborators at the University of Minnesota and Minnesota Sea Grant, are working to remove those barriers through the development of the Minnesota Natural Resource Atlas.

The Interactive Map provides a basic set of GIS tools for viewing, searching, and manipulating mapped data. These tools allows users to measure, access attribute data, conduct basic summaries, query features, and view different combinations of spatial data. Information can be shared by exporting results and map images.

The Data Catalog provides access to spatial data from trusted sources. All data are available for use within the Interactive Map and most can be downloaded for external use. Datasets include:

  • Agriculture: Animal rearing, crop raising, and associated activities. Examples: Feedlots, Crop Coverage
  • Biota: Flora and/or fauna in the natural environment. Examples: Native Plant Communities, Trout Lakes, Wildlife Management Units
  • Boundaries: Natural and political boundaries. Examples: Watersheds, Counties, Townships
  • Climate: Current and historical weather records. Examples: Average Annual Precipitation
  • Environment: Environmental resources, conservation, and degradation. Ecological classification and indexes. Examples: Conservation Easements, Closed Landfills, Ecological Classification System
  • Geology & Topography: Geology, mineral resources, and elevation. Examples: Bedrock Geology, Aggregate Locations, Digital Elevation Model
  • Imagery & Land Cover: Orthophotography of the landscape and land cover. Examples: 2017 Statewide Summer Imagery, 2011 NLCD Land Cover
  • Infrastructure: Transportation and communication networks, industrial resources, and water systems. Examples: Roads, Trails, Broadband Internet, Dams
  • Society & Economy: Demographics and social and economic resources and challenges. Examples: Population, Cost of Living, Social Vulnerability Index
  • Water: Surface and groundwater characteristics. Examples: Wetlands, Impaired Lakes, Groundwater Recharge

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