GIS Data Sets Used in TIMEA

Below are some descriptions of the GIS data sets used to build the ArcIMS maps.  The three most significant processes that had to be developed were the editing and extraction of administrative outlines, the creation of a place names database, and the development of shaded-relief files. 

List of Data Sets

Data Set


Processing Software

Political boundaries/outlines,

railroads, roads, inland/coastal water bodies

Tobin Global Planner

-Digital Chart of the World

-Russian Topo Maps 1:500000 scale

ArcMap editing tools, WinTOPO, and AutoCAD.



Shuttle Radar Topographic Mission (SRTM)


GeoStatistical Analyst, ERDAS Imagine, Photoshop

Place Names


GEOnet Names Server


MS Access 2000

Satellite Imagery


Landsat Orthorectified, 1990 +/- 3yrs, 30m


ERDAS Imagine, Photoshop


Administrative/Political Boundaries

The Russian topographic maps from Tobin’s Global Planner were used to digitize all coastal lines, and administrative/political boundaries for all the project countries.  After digitized, the boundary file’s scale improved from 1:1000000 to 1:500000.

Place Names

Tables with designations codes and place names were downloaded from the GEOnet Names Server (GNS) which provides access to the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency's (NGA) and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names' (US BGN) database of foreign geographic feature names.

Once downloaded, the tables were imported into MS Access.  The designation code table was cleaned and queried to contain only a selected set of DGSs.  This new table was then used to query and obtain another table with only selected places names. 

Elevation Data

SRTM files in Digital Elevation Model (DEM) format covering a 1 by 1 degree area with a resolution of 30 meters were used to create elevation images.  The challenge was to design a process to correct then generate a color graded hill shaded relief file derived from the DEM files. 

The first step in the process was to convert the files to World Mercator projection and save them as ERDAS Imagine .img files.  Then a method was designed to interpolate data voids, create hill shaded relief images and elevation images that were then blended into one file to create a more realistic view.