The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) "Atlas of the Cryosphere" Web site (http://nsidc.org/data/atlas) allows visitors to explore and dynamically map the Earth's frozen regions. Viewed from a polar perspective, the available scenes include snow cover, sea ice extent and concentration, glaciers, permafrost, and other critical components of the Earth's cryosphere. Users can zoom in to a specific region on the Earth as well as overlay country borders, major cities, and other geographic information. This site should act as a useful tool in science and education efforts surrounding the International Polar Year (IPY) (2007-2008) and beyond by providing a geographic tool for viewing snow and ice on the planet.
In addition to providing an interactive web interface, maps and data sources contained in the Atlas of the Cryosphere are also accessible via the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Web Map Service (WMS), Web Feature Service (WFS), and Web Coverage Service (WCS). These international specifications provide a framework for sharing maps and geospatial data over the internet.