Data Layers for ARMAP & AOV


This dataset contains the locations and high-level project information for field-based Arctic research projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) since 1999. It also includes projects from other agencies (such as NOAA and NASA) that receive logistical support from NSF. Database fields include investigator name, project title, discipline, year, funding agency, a description, and more. The information is pulled from the Arctic Research Logistics Support Services (ARLSS) database, which is maintained by Battelle Arctic Research Operations (Battelle ARO). Project records conform to an interagency project-tracking metadata standard developed in collaboration with the Alaska Data Integration Work Group (ADIwg). Additional projects are included from other agencies, as feasible when source metadata are available. For more information visit:

Observing Sites:  

Observing sites are precise locations where repeat observations have been made for long-term monitoring in the Arctic. Examples include: flux towers, boreholes, vegetation plots, weather stations, snow accumulation sites, moorings, drifting buoys, ship tracks, observatories, community based monitoring activities, and more. The information in AOV for observing sites includes project-level details along with site-specific attributes such as initiative, collection type, GCMD keywords, elevation or depth, and links to datasets. For more about collaborative mapping of observing activities, visit:

Observing Transects:  

Observing transects are linear representations of repeat observations for long-term monitoring in the Arctic. These include hundreds of tracks of drifting buoys from the International Arctic Buoy Programme (IABP), and from other networks or initiatives. For more about collaborative mapping of observing activities, visit:

Ship Tracks – 2020:  

Near real-time positions and tracks are shown for selected scientific vessels that are typically active in the Arctic region.  This information is compiled from AIS feeds and other data sources.

Ship Tracks – Historical:  

Ship tracks — and associated information — are shown for NSF-supported scientific cruises completed in previous years by the Healy, Sikuliaq, and many other vessels.  This information is compiled from multiple sources including the Rolling Deck to Repository (R2R), National Science Foundation, cruise reports, chief scientists, and AIS feeds.

Research Logistics:

US Logistics Hubs: A selection of research observatories or stations of particular importance to Arctic field research funded by the US National Science Foundation.

Arctic Research Stations: This map layer is a catch-all dataset containing all observatories and stations separately available below, plus a few other stations of interest.

IASOA Observatories: International Arctic Systems for Observing the Atmosphere (IASOA) includes 10 observatories distributed across Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Russia, Finland and Svalbard. The mission of IASOA is to advance coordinated and collaborative research objectives from independent pan-Arctic atmospheric observatories through (1) strategically developing comprehensive observational capacity, (2) facilitating data access and usability through a single gateway, and (3) mobilizing contributions to synergistic science and socially-relevant services derived from IASOA assets and expertise. For more info visit:

INTERACT Stations: The International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic (INTERACT) is a circumarctic network of terrestrial field bases in northern Europe, Russia, US, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Scotland as well as stations in northern alpine areas. Information provided is derived from the INTERACT station catalogue for researchers looking for their ideal research and monitoring sites. For more info visit:

GLISN Stations: These locations depict a real-time seismic sensor array operated by the Greenland Ice Sheet Monitoring Network (GLISN).  For more info visit:

GNET Stations: This map layer shows the location of stations in the Greenland GPS Network (GNET), monitoring changes in the mass of the Greenland ice sheet.  For more info visit:

LTER Core Sites: This map layer displays selected Arctic-related sites from the US Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program.  For more info visit:

Neon Core Sites: This map layer displays selected Arctic-related field sites that are part of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON).  For more info visit:

YOPP Supersites: This map layer displays a selection of observation locations identified as “Supersites”, as part of the Year of Polar Polar Prediction (YOPP) activity, derived from the YOPP Observations Layer.  For more info visit:

Medical Facilities: This information was compiled from multiple sources, confirmed by CH2M Hill Polar Field Services, and includes full service hospitals, hospitals with rotating doctors, and clinics with other unknown levels of support.

Greenland Inland Traverse (GrIT): These lines show routes taken for multiple years across the Greenland Ice Sheet for purposes of resupply as well as repeat scientific investigations, and were provided by CH2M Hill Polar Field Services.


Airports: This dataset is a combination of airport and landing site information obtained from ESRI’s World Gazetteer and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) airport database for Alaska.

Alaska Ferry Ports: This map layer shows Alaska marine highway ferry ports (derived from the Alaska Geo-spatial Data Clearinghouse).

Ferry Routes: These lines, compiled from a variety of sources, show ferry routes for Alaska and Europe.

Roads: This dataset represents the expressways and primary highways of the Arctic region (Canada, Europe, Russia, and the United States).

Railroads: This dataset represents the railroads of the Arctic region (Canada, Europe, Russia, and the United States).

Project Location Names: This data set includes field research site names, location, and region from the CH2MHILL Polar Services ( database of field projects for the Arctic region (45 degrees North Latitude and above).

Place Names Gazetteer: The gazetteer represents the locations and proper names for map features. The gazetteer includes attribute and annotation name information from various layers of the Digital Chart of the World.

Alaska USGS GeoNames: The Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) is the Federal standard for geographic nomenclature. The U.S. Geological Survey developed the GNIS for the U.S. Board on Geographic Names, a Federal inter-agency body chartered by public law to maintain uniform feature name usage throughout the Government and to promulgate standard names to the public. The GNIS is the official repository of domestic geographic names data; the official vehicle for geographic names use by all departments of the Federal Government; and the source for applying geographic names to Federal electronic and printed products of all types.