CALMIT: Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies


Date of this Version



ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2016, 5, 32


© 2016 by the authors

Open access



The Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) at the University of Kansas has collected approximately 1000 terabytes (TB) of radar depth sounding data over the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets since 1993 in an effort to map the thickness of the ice sheets and ultimately understand the impacts of climate change and sea level rise. In addition to data collection, the storage, management, and public distribution of the dataset are also primary roles of the CReSIS. The Open Polar Server (OPS) project developed a free and open source infrastructure to store, manage, analyze, and distribute the data collected by CReSIS in an effort to replace its current data storage and distribution approach. The OPS infrastructure includes a spatial database management system (DBMS), map and web server, JavaScript geoportal, and MATLAB application programming interface (API) for the inclusion of data created by the cryosphere community. Open source software including GeoServer, PostgreSQL, PostGIS, OpenLayers, ExtJS, GeoEXT and others are used to build a system that modernizes the CReSIS data distribution for the entire cryosphere community and creates a flexible platform for future development. Usability analysis demonstrates the OPS infrastructure provides an improved end user experience. In addition, interpolating glacier topography is provided as an application example of the system.