The Water–Energy–Food Nexus Discovery Map: Linking Geographic Information Systems, Academic Collaboration, and Large-Scale Data Visualization


The Water–Energy–Food (WEF) Nexus framework for holistic sustainable development has spawned independent and academic communities around the globe that utilize the framework in research, implementation, policy development, and technological advancement. These communities, however, are geographically and topically segmented and lack large-scale data basing that clearly catalogs and classifies their work. Recognizing this need, the WEF Nexus Strategic Initiative program at The Pennsylvania State University has developed the WEF Nexus Discovery Map utilizing the Arc Geographic Information Systems’ (GIS) Online Dashboard creation toolkit. In real time, users are able to select from 5040 different combinations of filters with the ease of a few button pushes and see projects pop up or disappear from the map located on the dashboard. Projects can then be clicked on to view their specific information, such as the institution that produced the work, local collaborators, relevant web page, and point of contact. The WEF Nexus Discovery Map demonstrates the early new-age of data resource management with the intersection of visuals, advanced search with built-in filters, and community-driven data collection to provide users with exact needs and connections to better facilitate and deploy the holistic sustainability framework of the WEF Nexus.

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