Reposted from the Conservation Biology Institute’s Blog

by Gwynne Corrigan, CBI Social Media & Communications Coordinator 

Major Changes to Data Basin Mapping Tools

Map Improvements and New Features

Have you explored Data Basin?  Launched in 2010, Data Basin is a web-based platform that integrates science, mapping, and the conservation community.  The platform was developed by Conservation Biology Institute (CBI) to support learning, research, and sustainable environmental stewardship.  Over the years, Data Basin has continued to expand and evolve.

We are excited to announce several big improvements and a redesign to Data Basin’s map page.  This most recent upgrade is led by Mike Lundin with support from the Data Basin Team.  So whether you are new to the platform or a seasoned veteran, we hope you’ll be inspired to explore these improvements.

The map page redesign was motivated by our continual drive to make Data Basin more and more user-friendly.  Two overarching goals of this update were to make Data Basin a full-screen mapping application and to take first steps towards supporting members using touch-screen devices.

Map Improvements:  You will see changes to the map page that include:

  • Map is in full-screen mode all the time
  • Cleaner presentation of the map
  • Larger toolbar (note: final icons may be slightly different than shown below)
  • Increased size of toolbar buttons allows easier use on touch-screen devices
  • Map details and layers (such as datasets, drawings, basemaps, and legend) have been moved to sidebar tabs (instead of floating palettes).  These can be opened or closed, allowing you to call up functionality as needed




  • Streamlined display of supporting map elements (scale bar, cursor, coordinates)
  • Improved functionality for commenting
  • New map page tour


New Map Tools:  One of our most exciting additions to the map page is a tool called the Map Swiper.  This feature was developed by the request of the North Atlantic LCC Conservation Planning Atlas team.  When the Map Swiper is on, you can drag the vertical line to the left and right to show different basemaps or expose/hide different datasets. This allows you to see two views of the same geographical area.  For example, you can modify base maps to be different or the same on either side of the Map Swiper and examine datasets displaying the same data from two different time periods.  Take a look at this short video demonstration to see the tool in action.  Please note this 1 minute demonstration video does NOT contain audio:

Another recent improvement to the Data Basin mapping functionality was the integration with the Environmental Evaluation Modeling System (EEMS) developed by Tim Sheehan of CBI.  EEMS is a tree-based, fuzzy logic modeling system. With EEMS, data from different sources and different numerical domains can be combined to answer ecological “where?” questions.  For example, “Where is the highest value habitat for a particular species?”  Now the results of this model can be viewed spatially on Data Basin with the EEMS Explorer functionality.  This allows users to visually explore each piece of the model for maximum model transparency.  For more information about EEMS, you may view Tim’s recent EEMS presentation (Click here to access recorded webinar).

CBI’s development team, scientists, and communication staff continue to make Data Basin as effective, innovative, and user-friendly as possible.  In addition to the map page redesign, there are several additional improvements the team is planning to roll out over the next year.  For example, we will be making improvements to the way you can add content to maps and further enhancements to how Data Basin tools such as EEMS are presented.

Please let us know what you think of the new changes and what other improvements or new features you would like to see in the future.  Has Data Basin helped you make an impact in your conservation work? If so, let us know so that we can continue to keep our funders and supporters motivated.

Please email your comments or questions to