Significant progress has been made in the past several years in linking GIS with atmospheric and related geosciences sciences and their datasets. There is growing interest among practitioners in GIS compatible weather and climate data.  Additionally, there is growing recognition among researchers, operational meteorologists, and university-level educators that GIS is a useful tool for spatial analysis, interdisciplinary research and science communication. Building an “Atmo-GIS” community and participating in GIS education at the science-society interface have been important components the GIS program. Community workshops on “GIS in Weather, Climate and Impacts” have been instrumental in building collaborations, defining research agendas for both NCAR GIS program and the larger AtmoGIS community, and addressing issues in GI science, data management, and data discovery.  Community efforts in developing an Atmospheric Data Model for GIS enabled many research projects, NWS operations, national and international collaborations and adopting netDCF data format by Esri. GIS-focused education and capacity building has been included in a number of NCAR/UCAR workshops, colloquia and hands-on training, and demonstrations.  Training materials focus on integration of climate science and data with traditional GIS data and spatial analysis to facilitate interdisciplinary research and build capacity for decision-making.

Learning GIS

We offer many free GIS modules to help you become more familiar with different aspects of GIS.  All our modules have a weather and climate focus.  The datasets used in these online courses are freely available and the data sources are identified.  We offer Esri ArcGIS Desktop as well as Quantum GIS modules. 


ArcGIS Desktop

Agricultural Focus - click on the image to download the course materials

Frequently Asked Questions

This page shares our experience and lessons learned for some of the new technologies that the GIS Program are exploring


GitHub for web hosting Leaflet app

GitHub is not only a code sharing and social networking site for developers. It is also a web hosting site.  Below I have outlined how to host spatial data and a web application from GitHub.  This workflow is perfect for small applications.  I have not tried this with large datasets or extensive web apps.


BRIGHTE Workshop Series

GIS education at the science-society interface is an important component of the GIS program.  Our society is facing many challenges related to weather, climate and climate change. Extreme weather events, such as droughts, floods, hurricanes, and extreme heat events affect communities across the world.  Addressing these complex and challenging problems requires an integrated, interdisciplinary research as well as broad participation of researchers, educators and decision-makers, especially from traditionally underrepresented populations and communities. 

GIS Seminar Series

The GIS seminar series features talks given by invited speakers.  These talks will vary from scientific subjects to more technical talks.  The purpose of the seminar series is to engage scientists and engineers at NCAR in a variety of geospatial topics.


Upcoming Seminars




Mapping and Modeling Weather and Climate with GIS

The new book "Mapping and Modeling Weather and Climate with GIS" from Esri Press contains many chapters authored by UCAR/NCAR scientists, engineers, and staff.  This book is geared towards atmospheric scientists and practitioners interested in integrating weather and climate data in a GIS platform.  The book is divided up into 6 parts:

GIS Tutorial for Atmospheric Sciences

 Section 1 and Section 2 now available

Working with netCDF in ESRI ArcGIS