The National Transition Database's GIS Module: A Management Information Tool for the National Weather Service
Track: Database Design, Automation, and Management
Author(s): Paula j Kingsbury
The National Transition Database (NTD) was created to manage information associated with the five-year Modernization and Associated Restructuring of the National Weather Service. This was the largest systematic modernization effort in NWS history that culminated in October 2000. New systems, such as Next Generation Weather Radar (NEXRAD), Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS), and Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS), were implemented replacing legacy radar systems, obsolete communication and data processing systems, and human weather observation stations. The NTD staff was responsible for tracking data to include equipment, offices and office transitions, county warning areas, forecast services, radar coverages, and circuit systems of the modernization effort.
The GIS module was devised to visualize data quickly, while maintaining spatial and geographic correctness. Many systems had overlapping layers and coverages that were ideal for viewing in a GIS environment. NWS management used these maps to review transition status, system commissioning/decommissioning, coverage areas, and redundancy or overlap within the systems.
Future uses of this module are being woven into a new NWS Management Information Retrieval System. This system is a natural progression from the NTD to support NWS decision making and to foster data sharing and greater communication among NWS program offices. The accompanying GIS module is being upgraded to allow for spatial analysis as well as utilizing ArcIMS for Web-based mapping
Paula j Kingsbury
U.S. National Weather Service
1325 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910