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Natural Resources Database - Free Spatial Database / Mapping Software

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Natural Resources Database - Free Spatial Database / Mapping Software

Description

NRDB is a free gis tool for developing and distributing environmental databases. Its aim is to provide people in developing countries with a powerful yet simple tool to assist in the managing of their own resources.

Database

The Natural Resources Database is a spatial database. As well as storing data of type text or numbers you can also store point, polyline or polygon data.

The data structure of NRDB is hierarchical. This means that, for example, you can represent the administrative structure for your project area and calculate statistics based on this.

NRDB is also a time-series database, all data has a date associated with it. You can therefore observe changes over time in the data.

Sponsors

All data for the NRDB is stored in a single database file which can be redistributed with the software.

The database structure consists of features and attributes. You define these in the Data Dictionary. You can define a structure that meets the needs of your project. NRDB is therefore is applicable to a wide range of environmental / socio-economic projects in developing countries.

Maps

Maps consist of layers. Each layer contains a spatial attribute, e.g. an administrative boundary or the location of a village, and a text or numeric attribute to be used as a label e.g. the name of the village, or the number of households above the poverty threshold.

You can create thematic maps whereby the way the layer is displayed is determined by the values. For example you can make the fill colour or symbol size dependent on the value or you can use different colours to indicate houses with and without access to safe water.

You can also change other aspects of the appearance such as the type of the symbol and the positioning of labels.

NRDB includes automatic layout for printing of maps.

NRDB supports UTM and other transverse mercator projections. UTM projections can be selected simply by clicking on the world map.

Queries

As well as simple selection of features and attributes to display on maps, graphs and reports you can also use queries. These give you more control over what is displayed. With queries you can apply conditions, e.g. only select data for 2002 or display only households that are not formal settlers and are living in makeshift housing.

Queries can also be used for calculating statistics. You can for example count the number of households below the poverty threshold by municipality. You could also normalise this by dividing it by the number of households in each municipality.

In the same way that you can add layers to maps, by selecting values or using queries, you can also produce reports.

You can also output data as histograms, time-series graphs and pie charts.

Digitising, Import and Export

Data can be encoded directly into the NRDB software. You can also encode data into a spreadsheet and then import it into the NRDB software.

Spatial data can be imported from shapefiles or text files. NRDB also includes a utility for georeferencing image files scanned from paper maps. You can then digitise directly using the NRDB software.

You can export map layers to shape files. Uses

NRDB software can assist with the following sorts of projects:

  • Monitoring the effect of management and impacts on environmental resources.
  • Collating information on environmental management and organisations, so as to coordinate effort more effectively.
  • Storing socio-economic information spatially, so as to relate services to need.
  • Production of thematic maps of environmental concerns to assist in advocacy work.
  • As a tool for training in environmental management and spatial mapping.

Products

NRDB Pro is the latest version of the Natural Resources Database. It enables you to develop your own database, digitise maps, import and encode data. You can produce thematic maps, graphs and reports. Data is stored in an Access database file which can be distributed with the software.

NRDB Web enables you to disseminate your NRDB database through your website, allowing users to query the database to view maps.

Visit the Natural Resources Database Website.

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