Web Maps

Esri's Living Atlas

The GEOGLOWS ECMWF Streamflow System represents a daily 51-member ensemble streamflow forecast for over 1 million reaches across the globe. Gridded surface runoff, provided by the European Centre for Medium-range Weather Forecasting (ECMWF), is downscaled and routed to the streams using the Routing Application for Parallel computation of Discharge (RAPID). This animation layer shows the first 6-days of a 15-day forecast at 3-hr intervals. Additionally, a 40-yr historical simulation was produced based on ECMWF’s ERA5 dataset. From this historical simulation, return periods for each reach are calculated and used to color the stream segments when/where events exceed these thresholds.

What can you do with this layer?

This map service is designed for fast data visualization. Identify features by clicking on the map to reveal the pre-configured pop-ups. View the forecast data sequentially using the time slider, which is set to three hour intervals by default by Enabling Time Animation. This layer type is not recommended for use in analysis.

How can I get started?

The Living Atlas can be accessed as an ArcGIS REST server layer in both ArcGIS Pro and QGIS. The following tutorial will be specific to QGIS; however, the steps to add this map layer to ArcGIS Pro are similar. To begin, open the QGIS application and select the project in which the Living Atlas layer is to be used.

Once QGIS loads, go to the top left corner of the screen as highlighted in the picture above.

Click "Layer."

On the drop-down menu, click "Add Layer."

On the secondary drop-down menu, click "Add ArcGIS REST Server Layer."

Then this pop-up menu will appear, make sure to click the button that says "New." 

On the next pop-up menu, copy and paste this link


in the box labeled "URL" as highlighted in the picture on the right. Once the layer has been named, click "OK."

Don't panic if the layer does not immediately display itself on the the QGIS map. 

In the browser on the left side of the screen, under "ArcGIS REST Servers" right click the raster layer labeled "Flow Forecast (m^3/sec)" and then click "Add Layer to Project."

Now the Esri Living Atlas (GEOGLOWS ECMWF Streamflow System) has been successfully added to your project! The visibility of this layer can now be toggled on or off by clicking the check box next to the layer name in the legend.