Why ARMAP? What’s in it? How is it different? and more.

ARMAP is a collaborative effort for the benefit of many agencies, organizations, and individuals.  See below for the who, what, why, and how of ARMAP.


ARMAP uses best practices with information and mapping technologies to provide a comprehensive perspective in support of Arctic science.

  • Learn more about research projects in your region of interest or scientific discipline
  • Explore available data or possible collaborations
  • Plan and coordinate field logistics
  • Use the online mapping tools to meet your own project’s specific goals

Projects and Agencies in the Viewer

ARMAP encompasses scientific research projects across the Arctic, funded or coordinated by multiple agencies and organizations. The majority of projects shown in the Viewer are funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Division of Polar Programs, Arctic Sciences Section. Also included are seventeen other U.S. federal and state entities: BLM, BOEM, NOAA, NPS, USGS, plus others affiliated with the U.S. Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee, IARPC. In this way, ARMAP provides an inclusive, extensive view of Arctic science.

These projects span multiple research disciplines: Arctic ecology, hydrology, oceanography, the cryosphere, human dimensions, and much more. Not included are modeling projects that do not require field research. The projects may go back decades, or are currently active. Each location is typically mapped to a nearby base of logistical support. Each project may have multiple field locations.

Cruise Tracks in the Viewer

Also shown are ship tracks for Arctic research vessels, with tracks for NSF-funded scientific cruises going back several years for the Healy, Louis S. St-Laurent, Polar Sea, and others.  The ship tracks and associated metadata were manually harvested from various sources (e.g., Rolling Deck, UNOLS, Sailwx, Pangea, Alaska Marine Exchange, etc.), processed, and harmonized.


ARMAP is founded on collaborative efforts among many groups that support information exchange and interoperability.  For more information, see the Partners page.

What is the difference between ARMAP and AOV?

A companion application, the Arctic Observing Viewer (AOV), displays “data collection sites” — with higher-resolution locations and details for individual towers, boreholes, vegetation plots, weather stations, stream gauges, and other instrumentation sites.  Furthermore, AOV is focused on monitoring activities related to “Arctic Observing” networks. To learn more, visit ArcticObservingViewer.org.


Ongoing development efforts behind the scenes results periodically in additional new features, performance, and functionality.  For more information, see the Milestones page.

The ARMAP Team

ARMAP’s web map viewer and data services are a collaborative development effort shared among:  Craig Tweedie, a postdoc, and students at the Systems Ecology Lab at the University of Texas at El Paso; Allison Gaylord with Nuna Technologies; William Manley with the INSTAAR QGIS Lab; Robbie Score & Mike Dover with CH2M HILL Polar Services (CPS); and Ted Habermann with The HDF Group.  ARMAP is funded by the National Science Foundation, Division of Polar Programs, Arctic Sciences Section, and provides a real-world test bed for student-driven cyberinfrastructure activities — ranging from systems architecture and programming to application design.


The foundation of ARMAP is a database management system, coupled with web services.  The web mapping application itself — the ARMAP Viewer — has been developed using ArcGIS for Server with a Flex API; an update to HTML5/javascript is planned.  The viewer draws foremost from the Arctic Research Logistics Support Services (ARLSS) database, maintained by CPS. These data records are released as an XML-based REST web service conforming with an interagency project metadata standard established by the Alaska Data Integration Work Group (ADIwg).  This service is dynamically ingested into the Viewer, along with project-level, ADIwg-compatible web services developed and maintained by other agencies and organizations (e.g., NSSI, USGS, and more).  Thus, ARMAP is an information system built upon distributed yet interoperable data and services.


A.G. Gaylord, A. Kassin, W.F. Manley, M. Barba, R. Cody, M. Dover, S. Escarzaga, T. Habermann, J. Kozimor, R. Score, and C.E. Tweedie, 2016. Arctic Research Mapping Application (ARMAP). Englewood, Colorado USA: CH2M HILL Polar Services. Digital Media. http://www.armap.org

Photo Credits

Thanks go to Jason Briner (SUNY Buffalo), Ed Stockard, Robin Davies, Tom Holford, and Roy Stehle (SRI Inc.).


This website is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Contract No. NSFDACS11C1675. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.