the spatial framework covering the Great Lakes basin

Why does the Great Lakes need a spatial framework?

The need for consistently managed and spatially comprehensive Great Lakes data and information has long been recognized.  Many efforts and resources have been invested in data collection and synthesis, database development, information delivery, habitat classification, and mapping.

This framework allows for the standardization of geospatial data to a hierarchically nested set of grid cells to be used as building blocks for informing management decisions and developing other spatial products such as aquatic habitat classification, nearshore assessment, and decisions support tools.


What does the GLAHF spatial framework package include?

  • nested grid cells at 9000 m, 1800 m, and 30 m
  • defined aquatic zones including coastal terrestrial, coastal margin, nearshore, and offshore
  • unique identifiers for each grid cell that can be used to link spatial and tabular data
  • ArcGIS tool to assign unique identifiers to each grid cell at the 3 nested grid levels
  • a common spatial projection to minimizing area distortion across the Great Lakes Basin
  • metadata and read me file
  • harmonized watersheds that link to the Great Lakes surface waters  through pour points


Download the GLAHF spatial framework package

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    More detailed information about the framework structure can be found in Wang et al. (2015). The GLAHF framework design and structure was built based on input from a panel of advisers including resource managers, GIS technical experts, and scientists.

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    • About GLAHF

      Great Lakes Aquatic Habitat Framework is a comprehensive spatial framework, database, and classification for Great Lakes ecological data.
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      • School for Environment & Sustainability

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