The heart of the interactive system is the Autodesk Mapguide software, which allows for flexible user-friendly spatial querying. The system is built on a series of four nested scale National and Regional base maps (1:20 Million, 1:7.5 Million, 1:2 Million and 1:1 Million). As users zoom into local areas of interest the base map scale will change automatically to display a reasonable level of detail. Available themes for the basemaps include drainage features (coastlines, rivers, lakes), boundaries, roads, transmission lines, major population centres and national parks. These layers can be turned on or off and can provide users with the ability to navigate to a particular area of interest using recognizable landmarks. Displayed data can be printed at any time.
The climate change component of Mapguide will be populated with both historical (1961-90) and projected (2011-40, 2041-2070, 2071-2100) data for the basic meteorological parameters Tmax, Tmin, and Pcpn, from 14 sites in Atlantic Canada. This suite of data has been generated by downscaling using a Statistical Downscaling Model (SDSM) and output from the Canadian Global Coupled Model (CGCM1) running the GHG+A1 experiment. All data can be accessed and displayed through several mechanisms: downscaled data (including 20 ensembles of projected results) can be downloaded in FTP Zip format; interpreted products, such as climate variability graphs, analyzed extreme climate indices (generated using STARDEX software) and Extreme Value Analyses using Gumbel statistics can be displayed or downloaded as tables, histograms, or maps contoured over eastern Canada. Contour maps of modular data were generated using the Spline-Tension (W=0.1) contouring algorithm within the GIS analytical software and can be overlaid with any other thematic layer.
Current plans are to increase the number of downscaled sites from 14 to 26, and to use two more world class GCM driving models, namely the CGCM2, and the HADCM3, in order to create a range of future climates scenarios readily available through this GIS interface.