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Ports Primer: A2. Citizen Mapping, Data Tools and Resources

Link to Home Page of Ports Primer for Communities   Link to Section 2, The Role of Ports   Link to Section 3, How Ports Work   Link to Section 4, Port-Community Relations   Link to Section 5.0, Land Use and Transportation   Link to Section 6, Local and Regional Economy   Link to Section 7, Environmental Impacts   Link to Section 8, Tools and Resources   Link to Section 9, Appendix   Link to Glossary for Ports Primer   Link to Endnotes for Ports Primer

The tools listed here are in various stages of development and from various sources. The potential value for using tools will vary on a case-by-case basis depending on the purpose and level of a capacity of users. Although, the information included in this table is intended to make the Ports Primer more useful, the presence of a resource on this list does not constitute EPA endorsement.

The following symbols provide more information about the availability of each data source:

  • ✔ = resource available in relevant format
  • D = data which are available for download
  • O = data which are available online
  • MP = accessible via mobile phone
  • MP/I = accessible via mobile phone or internet
  • C/I = requires users to have a working knowledge of computers and the internet
  • GIS = some uses may require users to have access to and working knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software
Citizen Mapping, Data Tools and Resources
Resource Type Description Cost Access
Data Data
Air Data (EPA)     D O   Provides reports, data visualization tools, data download and online mapping tools for air quality. Free C/I
AIRNow (EPA)             Provides real-time, location-specific air quality information and forecasts. Free MP
Air Sensor Toolbox
for Citizen Scientists
          Provides “information and guidance on new low-cost compact technologies for measuring air quality.” Free C/I
Alternative Fueling
Station Locator

(U.S. Dept. of Energy)
          Provides the locations of alternative fueling stations, including places to buy fuels such as electricity, natural gas, biodiesel, E85, propane or hydrogen. Free MP/I
Area Health
Resource Files

(U.S. Dept. of Health
and Human Services)
    D D   Provides access to county-level health data, an online mapping tool and health resources comparison tools. Some data may require special software to access. Free C/I, GIS
(U.S. Census Bureau)
  D   D   Provides access to census and American Community Survey data in a variety of formats, including topical and location-based fact sheets, mobile applications, interactive maps, and geographic
data and demographic datasets that can be downloaded for
further analysis.
Free C/I
Cleanups in My Community (EPA)         O   A mapping tool that displays locations where pollution is being or has been cleaned up. Clicking on a site reveals additional information about its environmental status. Free  
Common Sense Community Exit(Common Sense)             Common Sense develops mobile sensing technologies (hardware and software) that collect environmental data. The project is still in the pilot phase and aims to help communities “gather and analyze environmental data[, …] learn more about their environment, and influence environmental regulations and policy. Ultimately, the project seeks to empower citizens and novice users with opportunities to pursue the kinds of data collection and analysis that were once handled almost exclusively by professional scientists and analysts.” Tools and software were used
in a pilot study and are not yet available for purchase.
Community Commons Exit(Community Commons and IP3)         O Community Commons provides educational resources, an interactive mapping tool and networking opportunities for sustainable communities. It includes over 7,000 GIS data layers and an online mapping tool that allows users to create and share maps of their own communities. Sources for data are provided, but data cannot be directly downloaded. It also includes profiles of many place-based community initiatives and peer learning forums. Free C/I
Community Planning and Development Maps (U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development)         O   An interactive online mapping service for mapping current U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
grant activities, local housing market and economic data, and census data.
Free C/I (U.S. General Services Administration)   D, O   D, O   A vast collection of data, tools and resources based on federal datasets and data contributed by non-federal participants. Organized by topic and searchable by location and keyword.  Free C/I
Digital Coast Tools
(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
    O O   Digital Coast Tools provides data sets that range from economic data to satellite imagery. The site contains visualization tools, predictive tools, and tools that make data easier to find and use. Free C/I
EJScreen (EPA)         O   An online environmental justice (EJ) mapping tool that “provides EPA with a nationally consistent dataset and methodology for calculating “EJ indexes,” which can be used for highlighting places that may be candidates for further review, analysis, or outreach as the agency develops programs, policies and other activities. The tool provides both summary and detailed information at the Census block group level or a user-defined area for both demographic and environmental indicators.” Free C/I
Enforcement and Compliance History Online (ECHO) (EPA)     O   O   Allows users to assess facilities’ compliance with environmental regulations. Provides information on permit data, inspection dates and findings, violations, enforcement actions and penalties assessed. Free C/I
EnviroAtlas (EPA)     O D   Provides interactive tools and resources on ecosystem services (the many benefits people receive from nature). Key tools include an interactive mapping service and an Eco-Health Relationship browser which explores the relationship between ecosystems and human health. Free C/I, GIS
Envirofacts and Enviromapper (EPA)     D, O   D   An online search tool for accessing environmental data from EPA. Includes access to an interactive mapping tool. Provides a broad array of data including information on Superfund sites, drinking water, toxic and air releases, hazardous waste, water discharge permits, and grants. Free C/I
Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)               Provides maps, tables and charts on “health, exposure, and hazard information and data from a variety of national, state, and city sources.” Data can be accessed by topic or location. Free C/I
My Environment (EPA)     D O   Provides a cross-section of environmental information based on the user’s location. Free C/I
The National Map (U.S. Geological Survey)         D   Provides access to free spatial data, including orthoimagery (aerial photographs), elevation, geographic names, hydrography, boundaries, transportation, structures and land cover. Also provides online mapping tools for some data types. Free C/I, GIS
National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) Data (EPA)     D         Data from EPA’s ongoing assessment of air toxics. The website includes a summary report with maps of cancer and
non-cancer effects. For the expert user, data is available in MS Excel format from 1996, 1999, 2002 and 2005.
NEPAssist (EPA)       O   NEPAssist is a tool that facilitates the environmental review process and project planning in relations to environmental considerations. The web-based application draws environmental data dynamically from EPA’s Geographic Information System databases and web services and provides immediate screening of environmental indicators for a user-defined area of interest. Free C/I
nowCOAST (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)         O   A mapping tool that “provides real time coastal observations and NOAA forecasts.” Tool allows users to visually explore current snapshots of the weather and other environmental conditions in coastal communities. Free C/I
Smart Location Database (EPA)         D   A “nationwide geographic data resource for measuring location efficiency. It includes more than 90 attributes summarizing characteristics such as housing density, diversity of land use, neighborhood design, destination accessibility, transit service, employment, and demographics. Most attributes are available for every census block group in the United States.” The tool may be useful for mapping equity-related information. Free C/I
Tox Town
(National Institute of Health)
    D       Provides an introduction to toxic chemicals and environmental
health risks that citizens may encounter in everyday life.
Free C/I
Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)     O   O   A database that provides data on fatal and nonfatal injury, violent death, and cost of injury. The website includes a mapping tool that allows users to explore injury data at the state and county levels. Free C/I

Adapted from: U.S. EPA. Mapping Tools for Communities to Identify Assets and Hazards in Local Areas. Retrieved from: (13 pp, 380 K, About PDF)  Exit.

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