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Extracting data from global data sources

minhduc782005minhduc782005 Member
edited April 2014 in Pre/Post-Processing
I need some help in preparing data for InVEST models (carbon storage and sequestration; Reservoir Hydropower Production models). My research site is in the North of Vietnam. I searched on some data sources such as CCAFS (Climate Change, Agriculture, Food and Security), NASA ( for Precipitation data. There are many files there, and I don't know how to identify which files I need to download and how can I translate them (.bin and .csv files) into .shp format or .tif format)?

Can any one tell me step by step because I am a GIS beginer?

Many thanks, Duc


  • swolnyswolny Member, NatCap Staff
    Hi Duc -

    TRMM is a tricky dataset to work with, so if you only need annual precipitation data you might consider looking for a version that has already been processed into annual gridded results, as has been done here (although only through 2009.)

    Otherwise, a lot of downloading and processing is involved to turn the daily binary data into annual grids. You can look for sample code that helps do this, usually in R.

    You may also look at using GIS versions of the daily data, which can also be found on the NASA site here.

    ~ Stacie
  • Hi Stacie,

    Thank you very much. I will try your advice.
    By the way, do you have any further suggestion of preferred data sources of annual precipitation data, which is not difficult for pre-processing?


  • RichRich Administrator, NatCap Staff
    Hi Duc, you could check out the Spatial Data table that we've put together on our website:

    Its got some precip data in there and much more.
  • Thank you, Rich
  • I have soil database from Harmonized World Soil Data. However, when I open the file named hwsd.bil in ArcGIS, it is reported that file can not be projected because of missing spatial reference information. Can you tell me how to solve this problem?

    Thank you very much,

  • swolnyswolny Member, NatCap Staff
    Hi Duc -

    The HWSD is not very well documented on coordinate systems, but in the past I've started out assigning it the geographic coordinate system WGS84 and it has worked fine.

    ~ Stacie
  • Thank you Stacie.
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