UN-SPIDER's Regional Support Office, the Water Center for the Humid Tropics of Latin America and the Caribbean (CATHALAC) launched PortalGIS, a new GIS tool to support environment, disaster risk and climate change efforts in the region of Mesoamerica and the Caribbean. PortalGIS is a web-friendly geographic information tool, which, through an interactive portal, provides visual thematic data on the various regional efforts and needs, shares geospatial information and makes it available through the web to the entire community in the region. This useful tool allows users to view and share geospatial information without needing specialized software.
The portal allows users to view data on disaster hazards, infrastructure, climate change and socio-economical developments. It is backed by a robust internal infrastructure that ensures availability, reliability of processes as well as usability. Additionally, PortalGIS offers to the users a set of tools to facilitate the implementation of various analyzes and studies, from consulting population statistics and visualizing the amount and locations of hot points to the interactive delimitation of national and trans-boundary water basins. The system works in conjunction with SERVIR for Mesoamerica that CATHALAC has been implementing since 2005. As part of the development and continuous improvement of this new tool, the CATHALAC team will be updating and increasing periodically the number of layers and information available to the user, and the introduction of new features, tools and processes to PortalGIS.
A detailed technical manual on the use of the system also is available at: http://portalgis.cathalac.org/cathalac/manual