Introduction and Overview
This Baltic Sea Region GIS,
map and statistical database is a result of the Baltic Drainage Basin Project
(BDBP). The BDBP was a multi-disciplinary research project under the EU
1991-1994 Environment Research Programme. The GIS database, mainly focusing
upon land cover/land use and population, was developed as a joint effort
between the Beijer Institute, Stockholm; the Department of Systems Ecology,
Stockholm University; and UNEP/GRID-Arendal. The database was used
for analytical purposes during the BDBP. Following this, the GIS database
was further refined and prepared for public dissemination. Concurrently,
a number of maps in conventional graphical formats were prepared and included.
The GIS and Maps database was first released in August 1995. Later, a number
of statistical tables, also derived from the GIS database, were included.
To give an understanding of the ways in which the GIS database has been
used, within the BDBP and elsewhere, we have provided a list of documents
that describe the database and its usage.
Time has shown that this database
has become a most popular and pertinent environmental information resource
about the transboundary Baltic Sea Region. Currently, the home page alone
is being accessed close to 1,000 times each week. Besides professionals
in the Baltic environmental community, many secondary- and college-level
students and teachers are taking advantage of this resource.
For the remainder of this introductory
page, a brief overview of the GIS data sets is given; these are the basis
for the maps and statistics.
We welcome you to the database
- and look forward to
hearing from you about
your experiences in using it!
Available Data Sets
The Administrative Units layer
is a data set of county-level administrative regions, and in some cases,
municipality-level administrative regions for all countries fully or partially
located within the Baltic Sea drainage basin. Data was compiled and digitised
from multiple sources with paper map scales ranging from 1:200,000 to 1:3,000,000.
In addition, urban, rural, and total population statistics are provided
for each administrative unit.
Arable Lands & Pasture Lands
Agricultural information is divided
into two categories: Arable Lands and Pasture Lands. Each category exists
as an independent data layer. If users are interested in calculating total
agricultural land, simply add the two data layers, which were both generated
using IDRISI software. The minimum resolution is a 10 km x 10 km square
unit. The values associated with each unit are either percent total arable
land or percent total pasture land within unit boundaries (i.e., a raster
cell or a vector polygon).
Land and Ocean (Coastline)
The Land and Ocean (Coastline)
data set was generated simply to provide users with an additional database
layer that will enable them to extract additional information when used
in conjunction with other data sets. The Land and Ocean (Coastline) data
set is a subset of the PONET, Political and Oceans, data layer produced
by ESRI and is part of the DCW database. Users can obtain detailed (1:1,000,000)
coastline data for the Baltic Sea region.
The Land Cover data layer consists
of six classes: Forest, Open Land, Open Water, Urban Land, Glacier, and
Unknown Land, which is either Forest or Open Land. The Land Cover data
set was generated from the Digital Chart of the World (DCW) with a scale
of 1:1,000,000 and from the European Space Agency Remote Sensing Forest
Map of Europe with a 1 km resolution. Most processing was done using IDRISI;
the finest resolution that can be obtained is a 1 km x 1 km unit. PC ARC/INFO
users can only obtain 5 km x 5 km resolution data due to a limitation on
the number of arcs per polygon.
The Population Density data set
was derived by combining urban and rural population statistics with the
Administrative Units and Land Cover IDRISI data sets, generated for the
Baltic Sea Drainage Basin Project. Population statistics were collected
at the smallest adminstrative unit possible: municipality. The final resolution
provided is a 5 km x 5 km unit. Final statistics represent the number of
inhabitants per square kilometer.
Sub-watershed Drainage Basins
The Sub-watershed Drainage Basins
data set was generated from digitising 3 paper maps, each with an approximate
scale of 1:5,000,000. There are a total of 81 sub-basins in total forming
the seven major watersheds that define the Baltic Sea drainage area: Bothnian
Bay, Bothnian Sea, Gulf of Finland, Gulf of Riga, Baltic Proper, Danish
Straits, and the Kattegat. Also associated with each sub-basin are N and
P loading estimates, percent land cover values, as well as urban, rural,
and total population statistics.
Wetland Distribution for the Baltic
Sea region was derived from the association of regional wetland area statistics
with locations represented in the DCW Land Cover data layer. Due to the
quality of input statistics, we could only provide a final Wetland Distribution
data layer with a resolution of 50 km by 50 km units. The values associated
with each unit are percent total wetland area within unit boundaries (i.e.,
a raster cell or a vector polygon). We hope that people recognise the need
for better wetlands information for the Baltic Sea regional area.
revised 10-Dec-97 by Sindre Langaas