When DroughtView initially loads, two map windows appear side by side showing 'Actual' (left window) and 'Difference from Average' (right window) surface greenness data along with an overlay of national and state boundaries and places (these and other data layers are further described in the following subsection, 'Functionality').
Both map windows are centered on the state of Arizona.
To change the zoom level, use the + and - buttons in the upper left of the screen, the scroll wheel on or a double-click with a mouse (desktop computer), or a two-finger pinch motion (mobile device) in either of the two map windows.
To move the image in a cardinal direction, click and drag with a mouse or swipe with a finger.
Below the + and - zoom buttons is a location button that pinpoints your location on the map (for GPS-enabled devices).
A scale bar is located at the top left of each map window.
There are six different icons along the right side of the DroughtView interface. Clicking on these icons accesses the following tools, in order from top to bottom:
SELECT DATE(S) With this calendar-based panel, select a biweekly composite time period using either the or buttons, or by selecting an individual date. Click on the < or > buttons to move to previous or subsequent months, and the << or >> buttons to move to previous or subsequent years. The play button slowly animates surface greenness and precipitation data when they are selected to appear in the map windows, chronologically showing data from different biweekly composite periods. At the bottom of this panel is a time synchronization option. The default setting is for both map windows to display time-varying data for the same biweekly composite period. Click on 'DESYNCHRONIZE TIME' to select different biweekly composite periods for the 'LEFT' and 'RIGHT' map windows using the options previously described.
BASE LAYERS Options in this panel determine the base layer data shown in the 'LEFT' and 'RIGHT' map windows. Choose from multiple datasets including remotely sensed measures of surface greenness based on the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (Greenness - NDVI) and Enhanced Vegetation Index (Greenness - EVI), cloud and snow masks for these remotely sensed data (Data Quality), precipitation totals for corresponding biweekly composite periods (Precipitation), high-resolution aerial imagery (Aerial Map), a topographic map (Topo Map), and a general base map (None). Details regarding NDVI, EVI, data quality, and precipitation base layers are on the webpage, 'Understand the Data behind DroughtView'. Map keys to explain symbology for the NDVI, EVI, data quality, and precipitation base layers appear at the bottom of the map windows when these data are displayed. There are four different products for the NDVI and EVI base layers available in the corresponding drop-down menus. Select 'Actual' to display surface greenness values, 'Difference from Average' to show how surface greenness data compare to 2001-2012 average values of the same biweekly composite period, 'Difference from Period' to display how surface greenness data compare to values of the previous biweekly composite period, or 'Difference from Year' to show how surface greenness data compare to values of the same biweekly composite period from the previous year. At the bottom of this panel is a spatial extent, or area, join option. The default setting is for both map windows to show the same spatial extent. Click on 'DISJOIN EXTENTS' to be able to display different areas in the map windows. Similarly, click on 'ABOUT DATA SOURCES' at the bottom of this panel to see details regarding NDVI, EVI, data quality, and precipitation base layers.
OVERLAYS Using the options in this panel, add data layers to both of the map windows to provide spatial reference and context. Select from 'BOUNDARIES AND PLACES', which is shown by default, 'ROADS', 'GRAZING ALLOTMENTS', 'FEDERAL/TRIBAL LANDS', 'CURRENT USDM', 'CURRENT YEAR FIRES', 'HISTORICAL FIRES', and 'WATERSHEDS'. Details regarding these overlays are on the webpage, 'Understand the Data behind DroughtView'. Multiple overlay layers can be displayed at the same time. Click on 'ABOUT DATA SOURCES' at the bottom of this panel to see details regarding the overlay layers.
ADD POINT TO MAP With this panel, there are three different ways to place a point on a map window and facilitate the reporting of drought impacts. Enter latitude and longitude (format example: 32.5, -110.9) or an address in the corresponding text box, or click on 'MANUALLY PLACE POINT', which allows a cursor click (desktop computer) or finger tap (mobile device) at a desired location on a map window to add a point. Subsequently clicking on the added point displays a dialogue box that shows the latitude and longitude of the point along with a link that brings up a Drought Impact Survey. In this survey, select an impact category (described in REPORTED IMPACTS below), enter an email address for contacting, add a brief impact description, set an observation date, and add attachments such as a photograph of the impact, a report document with additional impact details, or other related resources such as website URLs. Saving input to the Drought Impact Survey adds the information to a DroughtView impacts database and makes it available for display through options in the REPORTED IMPACTS panel. Options for sharing drought impact survey information are described in HELP AND TOOLS below.
REPORTED IMPACTS Use the options in this panel to display reported drought impacts in the map windows. Select from several impact categories including 'WILDFIRE', 'TOURISM AND RECREATION', 'AGRICULTURE', 'PLANTS AND WILDLIFE', 'WATER', 'HEALTH', and 'OTHER'. Depending on the area displayed within the map windows, it may be necessary to zoom out in order to view reported drought impacts. Clicking on individual impact reports will display related survey information. Reports from multiple impact categories can be displayed at the same time.
HELP AND TOOLS Print and generate share links for customized maps with features in this panel. Click on the 'CREATE SHARE LINK' button to produce a unique URL that can be used to automatically recreate a customized DroughtView display in other browser windows such as those of colleagues. Simply copy and paste the URL to share information like locations of and corresponding changes in surface greenness related to drought impacts. Click on 'PRINT MAP' to generate a report page that can be printed or saved as a document. Turning off the web browser blocker for pop-up windows may be necessary for the 'PRINT MAP' feature to work properly. There also is a button on this panel that leads to more information regarding DroughtView.