NOAA's Office of Coast Survey recently unveiled a new Web service for nowCOAST, a map-based online gateway to ocean and weather observations and forecasts. With the new service, users can now view nowCOAST's ocean & weather information from a desktop computer, another mapping website, or even an iPhone or iPod Touch.
NOAA is able to expand the public use of map functions and geospatial data by enabling Web Map Service (WMS) access to the map layers of nowCOAST. WMS, which provides a method for requesting map images over the internet, is fast becoming the standard for web-based GIS data access.
Updated regularly throughout the day, nowCOAST displays near real-time weather and ocean surface observations directly on its interactive map found on NOAA's website. With the new WMS, users can now conveniently access nowCOAST's marine weather or ocean conditions from the palm of their hand with an iPhone or iPod Touch, or create their own applications that combine nowCOAST maps with background maps from other sources, such as Google Maps.
Users can access six different WMS services:
- The observation (obs) service contains near real-time observation layers, e.g., weather radar mosaic; GOES satellite cloud imagery; and surface weather/ocean observations.
- The analyses service contains gridded weather and oceanographic analysis layers, like global SST analysis and surface wind analyses.
- The guidance service provides “nowcasts” from oceanographic forecast modeling systems for estuaries and Great Lakes and coastal ocean operated by NOAA and U.S. Navy.
- The watches, warnings and advisory (wwa) layers display tropical cyclone track and cone of uncertainty, and short-duration storm-based warnings.
- The forecast service includes gridded surface weather and marine forecast layers, including the National Digital Forecast Database’s surface wind and significant wave forecasts.
- The geo-referenced hyperlinks (geolinks) service links to web pages posting near-real-time observations and forecast products.
NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources. Visit us at http://www.noaa.gov or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/noaa.lubchenco.
On the Web:
Instructions for iPhone and iPod Touch users: http://nowcoast.noaa.gov/help/mapservices.shtml#iphone