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.
The Water Institute at the University of South Florida heavily utilizes Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in our research. This page contains links to interactive maps which highlight some of our most recent GIS work.
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.
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.
The USF Water Institute and colleagues at University of Florida assisted the City of Tampa with the 2021 Tree Canopy and Urban Forest Analysis, including field data collection of 200 plots, a social survey, equity analysis, and development of tree growth models. View project information and the final report: City of Tampa Tree Canopy and Urban Forest Analysis 2021. This online map provides access to the historic imagery used to estimate citywide tree canopy change since 1938.
The USF Water Institute and colleagues at University of Florida assisted the City of Tampa with the 2021 Tree Canopy and Urban Forest Analysis, including field data collection of 200 plots, a social survey, equity analysis, and development of tree growth models. View project information and the final report: City of Tampa Tree Canopy and Urban Forest Analysis 2021. This online map provides access to the 2021 Tree Canopy map and other final data produced by the project.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tree canopy cover is an important measure of the amount of area and locations which are directly and indirectly influenced by trees. It is ecologically important because it indicates the potential of the urban forest to affect microclimate (e.g. shade in parking lots and homes), air pollution removal, and rainfall interception. This mapping application allows users to view and compare the mapping results from the Water Institute's 2006, 2011 and 2016 tree canopy analyses for the City of Tampa.
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.
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.
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.