The Water Institute's Open Data GIS portal provides direct access to the datasets created and maintained by the Water Institute and other researchers at USF. The portal allows you to search, explore and analyze the data directly online, or download it in its entirety for further examination. The site was launched in December 2016 with data from our historic wetlands research and our bathymetric assessments within Tampa Bay. All of our GIS data is scheduled to be added by early-mid 2017.

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1840 Tampa Bay Historic Surveys

The US General Land Office (GLO) survey of the Tampa Bay watershed represents one of the earliest systematic recordings of land cover conditions. This dataset is composed of 132 geo-referenced and clipped Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Township plats from land surveys completed during the 19th century. The majority (86%) of survey plats were completed during the years 1845-1855, including most plats of mainland areas. Most of the remaining survey plats were completed between 1876-1879.

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1948 Hillsborough County Aerials

Aerial imagery from 1948 was obtained from Hillsborough County and was clipped and georeferenced by Water Institute staff. This web application was created using the ESRI storymap template to allow you to view the historic landscape atop current aerial imagery using a spyglass tool.

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Florida Preservation Atlas

The Florida Preservation Atlas helps communities better understand their local historic and archaeological protection and preservation programs. It serves the needs of the Florida Public Archaeology Network, the Florida Division of Historical Resources, and the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, Inc. in carrying out their mutually complementary programs. The Florida Preservation Atlas also acts as a valuable tool for those outside of Florida who are interested in how this state is handling its historic preservation challenges and opportunities.

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Hillsborough County Aerial Comparison

A simple mapping application that allows you to simultaneously view areas within Hillsborough County as they were 1948 and how they are currently in 2016.

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Historic Wetland Change

This application shows freshwater wetland change within the Tampa Bay watershed and Manatee County as it occurred from approximately 1950 to 2007. This data layer is the end product of the change analysis task of the "Developing a Coordinated Watershed Approach for Linking Compensatory Mitigation and Tampa Bay Habitat Restoration Goals" project of the Tampa Bay Estuary Program. The goal of the task was to compare current Tampa Bay Watershed upland wetlands to those that existed in approximately 1950. The comparison characteristics were total acreage, wetland function and wetland structure.

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Historic Wetland Mapping

The Water Institute developed a geospatial dataset of historic wetland boundaries from the early 1950s to conduct a change analysis to examine the structural and functional changes that have occurred during urbanization of the Tampa Bay watershed. Historic wetland features were digitized from historic aerial imagery which were also georeferenced by the Water Institute GIS staff.

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Lake Bathymetry Assessments

Our field scientists perform a number of different types of on-site resource assessments for both fresh and saltwater environments. One of these assessment types are the bathymetric mapping of lakes. Water Institute staff use bathymetric mapping equipment operated from small boats to collect position and depth (XYZ) data, which is then processed to create three-dimensional datasets. These data are used to create a detailed bathymetric map and morphological characteristics tables. One-foot contours have been created for nearly 250 lakes within Hillsborough and Polk county.

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Tampa Tree Canopy and Land Cover (2011)

Land cover and tree canopy were calculated for the the City of Tampa as the basis for the 2011 Urban Forest Analysis. This urban ecological assessment provides a detailed scientific look into the economic and ecological values of the City of Tampa’s urban forest. The data displayed were created with a rules-based object-oriented classification method utilizing high-resolution imagery, LIDAR data and ancillary GIS data.

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Tidal Stream Assessments

In the summer of 2013 the USF Water Institute was selected by the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program to conduct preliminary assessments of sixteen tidal streams along the west coast of Florida from the northern extent of Tampa Bay to the southern extent of Charlotte Harbor. In 2014, SBEP directed the Water Institute to conduct Phase II assessments, collecting data on nine additional tidal streams within Sarasota Bay's watershed. The Water Institute tasks included bathymetric mapping, vegetation surveys and habitat assessment, all available for viewing within this mapping application.

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Water Atlas

The Water Atlas is designed to provide citizens, scientists, professionals, and planners with comprehensive and current water quality, hydrologic, and ecological data, as well as information about recreational opportunities and a library of scientific and educational materials on water resource issues. The Water Institute recently launched their new Advanced Mapping tool for the Tampa Bay Water Atlas which allows users to search waterbodies, sampling locations and other GIS data that is available on the Atlas website.

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