Geographic Information Systems: Status at Selected Agencies

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-08-01.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                      Fact Sheet for the Chairman,             i
GAO                   Subcommittee on Interior
                      and Related Agencies,
                      Committee on Appropriations,
                      House of Representatives
August   IWO
                      Status at Selected

                                                     ,..   .
United States
General Accounting  Office
Washington, D.C. 20548

Information     Management          and
Technology      Division


August 1, 1990

The Honorable Sidney R. Yates
Chairman, Subcommittee on
  Interior and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
House of Representatives

Dear Mr. Chairman:

As agreed with your office in February 1990, we are providing summa-
ries of geographic information system (GE)’ activities at the Depart-
ments of Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, and Energy, as well as at the
Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Highway Administration, the
Environmental Protection Agency, and the Federal Emergency Manage-
ment Administration. Appendixes I through IV describe the agency mis-
sion, GIS applications, estimated GE budget, computer hardware and
software used for GlS, and planned GIS procurements, where applicable,
for each organization.

The information in the appendixes led to several observations. First, the
federal government’s dollar investment in GIS technology is significant.
The Office of Management and Budget reported in October 1988 that at
least $165 million would be needed each year to fund electronic mapping
efforts, which largely include GIS. Also, some agencywide computer sys-
tems containing GIS cost hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars
to implement and operate.

Second, federal government GE applications support diverse missions.
These applications currently include analyzing the impact of earth-
quakes, assessing insect infestations in spruce forests, developing farm
conservation plans, managing land and water resources, assisting with
the decennial census, producing nautical charts and maps, identifying
populations at risk from radon exposure, preparing response plans to
natural or manmade disasters, and identifying construction sites for
engineering project~s.

‘A geographic informanon system consists of computer hardware and software capable of manipu-
lating, analyzing, and presw6lng hp;rtlally-~cfcrenced    information. This is information asoclatcd with
a specific place on the earth 411,h as t tic grographic location wd thr characteristics of a l&r, road. or
stand of trees.

Page 1               GAO/lMTEG!W74FS          Ch@raphic    Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
Page 3   GAO/IMTEC-W-74PS   Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies

AI,Ml<S     Automated Land and Mineral Records System
UIS         Distributed Information System
GAO         General Accounting Office
MS          Geographic. Information System
IISMIS      Integrated Emergency Management Information System
I!vllYi(‘   Information Management and Technology Division

Page 5          GAO/IMTEC-90.74FS   Geographic   hformation   Systems at Selected Agencies
                               Appendix I
                               GIS Activities   at the Depart rnmt of
                               the Intwior

                               of aquifer characteristics and water-use patterns, and preparation of
                               maps for publication.

Estimated GIS Budget           .4ccording to the Interior Digital Cartography Coordinating Committee
                               fiscal year 1988 anrulal report,
                               Cost estimates for the kational Geologic Mapping Program are

                           - $800,000 for fiscal year 1990,
                           - $500,000 for fiscal yc’ar 1991, and
                           l 5500,000 for fiscal year 1992.

                               Estimates for the Digital Cartographic Data Bases are

                           - $47.3 million for fiscal year 1990,
                           - $57.8 million for fiscal >ear 1991, and
                           l $75.4 million for fiscal \ ear 1992.

                               Estimates for the Geographic Names Information System are $550,000
                               per year for fiscal yc’ars 1990, 1991, and 1992.

                               According to exhibit, 431%submitted with the fiscal year 1991 budget
                               request, the Water Resources Division will obligate $5 million each year
                               for fiscal years 1990 and 1991, and $4 million for fiscal year 1992, for
                               the purchase of additional memory and other system enhancements for
                               the Distributed Information System.

Computer Hardware and          Hardware includes 88 minicxomputers and 5 workstations. Software
Software Used for GIS          includes the public domain Geographic Resources Analysis Support
                               System; a variety of commercial GISsoftware, such as ARC/INFO and
                               Sl’AhX; and software, tlt,v~~lopedby Geological Survey personnel,

Planned GIS Procurements       The National Mapping I bivision will procure off-the-shelf GlS hardware
                               and software in the MARK II modernization program to further auto-
                               mate the production of Ihe Division’s map products. In addition, the
                               Division will upgradr, t lie US systems for its GIS laboratories and will
                               acquire high performance work stations for its global change program.
                               Some of these systems may be acquired through the Geological Survey’s
                               Distributed Informat ion System (MS) II procurement.

                               Page 7                GAO/ IMTEC9@74FS   Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
                              Appendix I
                              GIS Activities   at the Departmml   of
                              the Interior

                              use information to support, the public and 220 Bureau offices

                           -- -
Estimated GIS Budget          According to the fiscal year 1991 exhibit 43B, the Bureau of Land Man-
                              agement will obligate $3.4 million for fiscal year 1990 and $3.1 million
                              for fiscal year 1991 for (XSminicomputers. It also plans to obligate for
                              GISgraphics peripheral equipment, $2.0, $2.4, and $3.5 million, respec-
                              t,ively, for fiscal years 1990 through 1992. For ALMKS, it intends to obli-
                              gate $28.8, $26.0, and $22.0 million, respectively, for fiscal years 1990
                              through 1992.’

                              Hureau officials also estlmat,ed that $1 million per fiscal year would be
                              rbxpcndcd for maint~~nancc and enhancement of the existing GIS.

Computer Hardware and         Hardware consists of 70 minicomputers. Software includes the public
Software Used for GIS         domain Map Overlay and Statistical System, the Cartographic Output
                              System, and the Automated Digitizing System.

Planned GIS Procurements      The Bureau of Land Management originally planned to issue a request
                              for proposals for +.I,~IKSm December 1989, with contract award sched-
                              ulcd for .January 1991. ,1ftcr reviewing the Bureau’s budget requests,
                              the Office of Management and Budget halted the procurement in
                              November 1989 becauscl of concerns about increasing cost estimates.
                              Issuance of the request for proposals now depends on negotiations
                              between the Bureau and th(l Office of Management and Budget.

                              The Bureau of Indian affairs works with Indian and Alaska natives,
Bureau of Indian              government agencic>s,and other interested groups in the development
Affairs                       and implementation of a wide variet,y of services and activities,
                              including programs to fully utilize the natural resources of Indian lands
                              consistent with resourc~l conservation. The Hureau also acts as trustee
                              for Indian lands and monies held in trust by the United States, and
                              assists in realizing maxirnlnn benefits from such resources.

                                  Page 9            GAO/IMTEC-99.74FS   Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
                             Appendix I
                             GIS Activities   at the Departmw   of
                             the Intrrior

                             land-use restraints on the availability of federal and state lands for min-
                             eral exyloration and development. The Bureau’s Minerals Availability
                             System contains an extensive data base of nearly 200,000 minerals loca-
                             tions that can be provided to GISworkstations.

Estimated GIS Budget         Bureau of Mines officials estimated that about $240,000 per fiscal year
                             is spent on personnel salaries for GIS work.

Computer Hardware and        Hardware consists of st’\‘en microcomputers, software includes commer-
Software Used for GIS        cial PC-ARC/INEV.

Planned GIS Procurements     The Hureau of Mines requested $750,000 in fiscal year 1991 for GIS
                             activities. The greatest portion of these funds will be used to further GIS
                             applications in the various mineral land and resources program areas. A
                             smaller portion of these funds will be used to purchase larger capacity
                             workstations. Some microcomputers currently used by the Bureau do
                             not have the capacit) to permit working with mineral resource data for
                             tmtire states.

                             The Bureau of Reclamat Ion is responsible for providing water and
Bureau of Reclamation        hydroelectric power, river regulation and flood control, outdoor recrea-
                             tion opportunities, and protection of fish and wildlife habitats for areas
                             and industries under its ,jurisdiction. The Bureau’s functions include:

                             planning, design anti construction, operation and maintenance, and
                             repair and rehabilitat itm of projects that conserve and effectively utilize
                             national water rcsourt’tts;
                             salinity control, groundwater and hazardous waste management, water
                             quality and environment al enhancement, and dam safety evaluation;
                           . administration of loans to state and local governments for construction
                             and rehabilitation of u at or supply systems.

Applications to Support      The Bureau of Reclumatlon has implemented an integrated GIS and
Mission                      remote sensing program for the inventory, analysis, and management of
                             natural resources. In particular, the Bureau is using GIS to classify land

                             Page 11               (;AO/IMTEt   -90-7488 Ckographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
                              Appendix I
                              GIS Activities   at the Department   of
                              the Interior

                              environmental assessments such as the impact of dredging on ecosys-
                              tems, and to develop master plans and comprehensive conservation
                              plans in order to manage the 460 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge

Estimated GIS Budget          The Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that $500,000 was spent to
                              develop the current US, and that $5 million per fiscal year supports GK
                              work (including data collection and digitizing).

Computer Hardware and         Hardware consists of six minicomputers. Software inchldes commercial
                              ARC/INFO, and the Ma11Overlay and Statistical System, developed by
Software Used for GIS         Fish and Wildlife Servit*fs personnel.

                              The Kational Park Service’s objectives are to assist state and local gov-
National Park Service         ernments and citizen grt~ups to develop park areas, administ,er more
                              than 350 properties under it,s jurisdiction for t*itizen enjoyment and edu-
                              cation, protect the natural environment of these areas, and preserve his-
                              toric properties.

Applications to Support        The National Park Service provides GIStechnology to Park Service man-
                               agers for resource management at individual national parks. wildlife
Mission                        inventory and habitat analysis, determinations of resources at risk from
                               fires or gypsy moths. environmental assessments of roads or oil/gas
                               wells, determinations of visual impact of buildings on national parks,
                               and development of educational aids for visitors.

Estimated GIS Budget           h’ational Park Service officials estimate that $SljO,UOO(supplemented by
                               project, funds) financed the development of 50 data bases for individual
                               national parks. The Service plans to allocate $1 .F,million in fiscal year
                               1991 to add data to t,xihting data bases and to create data bases for
                               parks not, currently posscxing them.

Computer Hardware and          Hardware consists of :S:Sworkstations. Software is the public domain
Software Used for GIS          Geographical Resourt.es Analysis Support System.

                               Page 13               GAO/ IMTIX:-YO-74FS   Geognaphic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
Appendix II

GIS Activities at the Department of Agriculture

                          - -
                                Within the Department of Agriculture, GISis used by the Forest Service,
                                the Soil Conservation Service, the Agricultural Research Service, and
                                the National Agricultural Statistics Service. The following paragraphs
                                describe GIS activities in 1hese agencies.

                                The mission of the Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service is to pro-
Forest Service                  vide a sustained flow of resources such as outdoor recreation, forage,
                                wood, water, wildcrnrss. wildlife, and fish in a combination that best
                                meets both current and fut,ure needs. The agency also administers the
                                energy and mineral r(‘sources of t,he national forest system, and con-
                                ducts and disseminatcbs research products that advance resource man-
                                agement,, use, and prott’ction.

Applications to Support         The Forest Service uses MS at 138 out of its 880 offices located nation-
Mission                         wide. GISis used to support forest management projects and explore
                                other applications related to the agency’s mission. The Forest Service is
                                planning to acquire a ntsw nationwide system that will integrate GIS,
                                administrative, scientific*, technical. and telecommunications applica-
                                tions. GISuses include) pro,jec,t planning and research.

                                For example, forest management planning may involve decisions about
                                land uses, such as harvesting trees in a manner that, preserves scenic
                                and recreational amenities. promotes soil conservation, and protects
                                water quality. MS applic,ations support the visual and analytical combi-
                                nation of data on resources. timber characteristics, soils, and watet
                                needed t,o prepare, tlvalrmtc, and modify plans quickly and relatively
                                easily. Similarly, wildlife biologists may use GE in research to study the
                                interactions bet,ween wildlife populations and their environment by
                                mapping and analyzing facbtors such as the relationships between popu-
                                lation ranges and density. vegetative cover, exposure, food sources, and
                                human activities.

Estimated GIS Budget            The Forest Service’s cstlmated fiscal year 1990 cost for GISis $15.3 mil-
                                lion. This figure includes hardware and software acquisition, contract
                                services for digitizing and training, personnel costs, travel, and other
                                overhead costs. ‘I’ht~ c,xpenditures for GIS will enable the Service to
                                deal wit,h current. high InYority resource issues such as the impact of
                                wild fires on national forests and the impact of logging on spotted owl

                                Page 15        GAO/ I!WlIXXW74FS   Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
                             Appendix II
                             GIS Activities   at the Department
                             of Agriculture

                             ranch conservation planning. In particular, the Service has developed
                             three soil survey geographic data bases:

                           . the Soil Survey Geographic Data Base, used for county, township, and
                             watershed resource planning and management, and for farm and ranch
                             conservation planning;
                           . the State Soil Geographic Data Base, used for river basin, multistate,
                             state, and multicounty resource planning, management, and monitoring;
                           . the National Soil Geographic Data Base, used for national, regional, and
                             state resource appraisal, planning, and monitoring.

Estimated GIS Budget         Soil Conservation Service officials estimate that $5.9 million for fiscal
                             year 1990 and $6.4 million for fiscal year 1991 will be spent for GIS.

Computer Hardware and        Soil Conservation Service officials estimate that 5 percent of the hard-
                             ware inventory consists of minicomputers and 95 percent consisted of
Software Used for GIS        microcomputers. Software consists of 5 percent commercial ARC/INFO
                             and 95 percent public domain Geographical Resources Analysis Support

Planned GIS Procurements     According to the fiscal year 1991 exhibit 43B, the Soil Conservation Ser-
                             vice plans to install the Geographical Resources Analysis Support
                             System software on the Field Office Communication and Automation
                             System hardware, and integrate it with the Computer Assisted Manage-
                             ment and Planning System in the Service’s field offices. Total cost to
                             implement the Field Office Communication and Automation System is
                             estimated to be $85 million.

                              The Agricultural Research Service administers basic and applied
Agricultural   Research       research in animal and plant protection and production; in conservation
Service                       and improvement of soil, water, and air; in processing, storage, and dis-
                              tribution of farm products; and in human nutrition. This research is con-
                              ducted in cooperation with federal and state agencies, universities, and
                              private organizations.

                              Page 17               GAO/IMTEC-90.74FS   Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
                        Appendix II
                        GIS Activities   at the Departmrnt
                        of Agriculture

Estimated GIS Budget    No funds have been allocat,ed for GISwork in fiscal year 1990. IIowever,
                        National Agricultural Statistics Service officials have proposed spending
                        about $700,000 for MS work for fiscal year 199 1,

Computer Hardware and   No hardware has specifically been designated                    MS.

Software Used for GIS

                        Page 19               GAO/IM’I’W-90.74FS   Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
                                                              ~~~~~ .______
                            Appendix III
                            GIS Activities     at lhr Drpartmrnl
                            of Commrrrr

                            The mission of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is
National Oceanic and        to explore, map, and chart the global ocean and its living resources and
Atmospheric                 to manage and conscrvt’ those resources; to describe, monitor, and pre-
                            diet conditions in thtb ocean, atmosphere, sun, and space environment; to
Administration              issue warnings against impending destructive natural events; to assess
                            the consequences of inadvertent cnvironmcntal modification; and to
                            manage and diss~minat(~ environmental information. The Administra-
                            tion’s products includcl meteorological forecasts, nautical and aeronau-
                            tical charts, geodetic surveys. and environmental data from satellites.

Applications to Support     The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration uses GIS tech-
Mission                     nology for oceanograI)hic and meteorologic analysis, to automate the
                            production of nautical and aeronautical charts, and to monitor coastal
                            pollution and impact on fishc~rics habitat. In particular, the Administra-
                            tion uses GISto model oil and chemical spills on coastal waters and con-
                            duct arctic ice analysis. and has developed a digital National Coastal
                            Vi’etland Data Iiasc for I;IS based on the m&land maps for the National
                            \Vetlands Inventory of 1trcx1T.S.Fish and Wildlife Sc,rvicc.

                            In addition, the Administration’s Nautical Charting Division is devel-
                            oping a geographically rc,fercnced Savigat,ion Information Data Base
                            and a nautical-chart digital graphics data base for MS, and is planning to
                            incorporate expert sys(rms and the Integrated Digital Photogrammetric
                            Facility into the dcv&qm~ent of the Automated Nautical Charting
                            System II to automates t tit, production of nautical maps.

     -.                                                                                                                       -
Estimated GIS Budget        According to agent> c)l’l’ic,ials,the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
                            Administration’s Iiatiorlal Ot~an Service spt,nt:

                          - $200,000 for hardwanc acquisition.
                          - $250,000 for system dt>vt4opment over three years, and
                          - $ I i’ri.OO(!per year f’or sl aff salaries for GIS application work;

                            and its Kational Envlrmmental Satellite, Data and Information Service
                            spent $260,000 for acqllisition of hardware and GIS software for work-
                            stations and micl.oc~onlt~~ltt~~~s,

                                         .__             .~
Computer Hardware and        The National Ocean S(YL’~Whardwart includes six microcomputers COW
Software Used for GIS        nc~t ed on a local art~~ m’t lvork for ot*~~anographic and meteorological

                             Paye 21                 GAO/IMTE(:-90.74FS   Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
Appendix IV                                                                                          -
GIS Activities at Other Selected
Federal Agencies

                              The GIS activities of the Department of Energy, the Federal Highway
                              Administration, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Emergency
                              Management Agency, and the Environmental Protection Agency are dis-
                              cussed in this appendix

                              The Department of Energy is responsible for long-term, high-risk
Department of Energy          research and development of energy technology, energy conservation,
                              marketing of federal power, the nuclear weapons program, the energy
                              regulation program, and a central energy data collection and analysis
                              program. In particular, the Department:

                          . conducts programs to Increase the production and utilization of renew-
                            able energy (solar, wind, geothermal, alcohol fuels) and improve the
                            energy efficiency of transportation, buildings, and industries;
                          . collects, processes. and publishes data on energy resource reserves,
                            energy production, drmand, consumption, distribution, and technology;
                          . performs analyses to dt%ermine the microeconomic and macroeconomic
                            impacts of energy trends on regional and industrial sectors.

                              ITnder the Departmc)nt ‘s auspices, the Bonneville Power Administration:

                          . markets electric powtlr and energy from federal hydroelectric projects in
                            the Pacific Korthwcst:
                          l constructs, operates. and maintains transmission systems that integrate
                            federal power prqject s. and interconnects with nonfederal utility sys-
                            tems; and
                          . is responsible for ent’rgy conservation, renewable resource development,
                            and fish and wildlift, clnhancemcnt, in the Pacific Northwest.

Applications to Support       The Department of Enclrgy is using GIStechnology in several parts of the
Mission                       agency. For exampk. Knergy’s Office of Conservation and Renewable
                              Energy uses GIS tec,hnology to design solar power systems for specific
                              locations. In addition, 1hc I3onncville Power Administration uses GIS
                              technology to condl1c.t environmental impact analyses in order to plan
                              electrical transmission system sites that minimize impact on national
                              forest and wildernc>ss iLreas.

                              Since 1981, Energy’s l’acific Northwest Laboratory has been developing
                              a (%-based Integrated Emergency Management Information System
                              (IEMIS) for the Fed(>ral Emergency Management Agency. The Laboratory

                              Page 23        GAO IM’I EC’-90.74FS Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
                               Appendix IV
                               GIS Activities at Other Srlrrtrd
                               Federal Agencirs

                               funding technology transfer centers, demonstrations, and microcom-
                               puter software development, user manuals, and guidelines.

Applications to Support        The Federal Highway Administration has integrated several data bases
                               into the Kational Highway Network data base which will form the basis
Mission                        of the National Integrated Transportation Data Base, and has used GIS to
                               conduct national and regional analyses in support of upcoming Federal
                               highway legislation. To promote the use of GE, the Administration will
                               hold classes and demonstrations of GIS developed by Iowa, Maryland,
                               and Wisconsin transportation authorities for other state and local gov-
                               ernments. In addition, the Administration is starting a research project
                               to incorporate GISinto “intelligent vehicles” to provide drivers with real-
                               time information on road conditions and alternate routes.


Estimated GIS Budget           According to Federal IIighway Administration                     officials:

                           . $325,000 for GIS hardware and software acquisition and development of
                             the National Highway Network data base was funded by the Military
                             Traffic Management Command;
                           . $225,000 is planned to be obligated for fiscal year 1992 for design and
                             evaluation of the National Highway Network;
                           l $100.000 this fiscal y’car will be spent to provide demonstrations of
                             transportation planning GISfor state and local governments;
                           l $150,000 this fiscal year will be spent to develop GIS training classes to
                             be held in fiscal year 199 1;
                           . $500,000 is planned to be obligated for fiscal year 1992 to develop
                             national digital transportation data standards and the National Inte-
                             grated Transportation Data Base; and
                           l d 100 million per year starting in fiscal year 1992 is proposed for the
                             research project to develop “intelligent vehicles” to provide drivers real-
                             1ime information on roacl conditions and alternate routes.

Computer Hardware and           fIardware includes OIW microcomputer for developing and using the
                                National Highway Kct\vork Data Base (the Federal Highway Adminis-
Software Used for GIS           t ration plans to acquire a second microcomputer) and two microcom-
                                puters and a workstation for the GE demonstrations. Software includes
                                commercial ARC/INIY). SI<4NS. and TRANSCAD.

                                Page 26              GAO/IM’IW    YO-74FS Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
                              Appendix IV
                              GIS Activities at Other Selected
                              Federal Agencies

                              hazard mitigation, preparedness planning, relief operations, and
                              recovery assistance.

                              On the national level, the Federal Emergency Management Agency
                              develops and coordinates procedures to ensure effective operation of
                              the federal government during national security emergencies and to
                              assure availability of required resources for defense and civilian needs.
                              It manages the 24-hour center for collection and dissemination of emer-
                              gency information, and is responsible for the design, development, oper-
                              ation, and maintenance of facilities and resources for routine and
                              emergency telecommunications, information processing, and warning
                              systems requirements.

Applications to Support       The Federal Emergency Management Agency is using GIStechnology in
                              several parts of the agency. For example, the State and Local Programs
Mission                       and Support Directorate uses GISto geographically display threat and
                              state and local emergency management capability information, and to
                              administer the Fire Suppression Assistance Program.

                              The Agency’s National Preparedness Directorate has developed several
                              GISto assist in national emergency management planning:

                          l the Emergency Resource Management System in conjunction with the
                            Transattack Resource Data base is used for analyzing the effects of
                            nuclear attack;
                          . the PC Risk Estimation system is a field office version of the Emergency
                            Resource Management System for regional planning for natural or man-
                            made disasters; and
                          . the lntegrated Emergency *Management Information System was devel-
                            oped to increase the Agency’s ability to review analytical options in
                            planning emergency measures; evaluate preparedness resources commit-
                            ments and improve preparedness exercises by simulation of complex
                            interactive events; allow study of post-event recovery options in order
                            to optimize use of resources; and encourage the maximum access to the
                            lntegratcd Emergency Management Information System from other fed-
                            eral agencies and state and local governments through networked

Estimated GIS Budget           The State and Local Program and Support Directorate has spent $920
                               for commercial GISsoftware and $15,000 for METAFIRE software for
                               the Fire Suppression Assist ante Program.

                               Page 27             GAO/IMTlX’%-74FS   Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
                             Appendix IV
                             GIS Activities at Other Selrctt-cl
                             Federal Agencies

                           - identifying and characterizing the nature and extent of problems and
                             monitoring remedial actions at Superfund sites; and
                           - implementing a Results/‘Risk Analysis and Management System to target
                             regulatory activities based on environmental risks and to determine if
                             lZgency programs art‘ hil\iIlg an impact on environmental quality.

Estimated GIS Budget         Environmental 1’rotclc.tion Agency officials estimate that $700,000 this
                             fiscal year covers funding for (;IS hardware and software purchases, GIS
                             activities at t,he Agem-v’s (;I$ Centers of Excellence and regional offices,
                             and purchases of datil from other government agencies.

Computer Hardware and        Hardware includes t hrc>clmainframes. seven minicomputers, four work-
Software Used for GIS        stations. and nine mic~roc~omp~~ters. Software includes commercial ARC/
                             IKEY) at all sites and t ht>public domain Geographical Resources Analysis
                             Support, Syst,cm and hIal, Overlay and Statistical System at one site

Planned GIS Procurements     The first week in April 1990. the Environmental Protection Agency
                             released a request for proposals to procure GISworkstations. These
                             workstations will bc linked by communication networks to support 600
                             users at Agency prog~~n offices and laboratories and state government
                             offices. According to t ho request for proposal, the equipment must exe-
                             cute ARC/INFO soft \vart*. The Agency anticipates awarding a contract,
                             by the end of 1990. t~:ac~trprogram office will fund GIS workstation
                             purchastls from the (‘ant r’ac’t out of individual project funds.

                             Page 29               GAO/IRlTE(     -Y0~74FS Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
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Appendix \’

Major Contributors to This Report

                       Nancy A. Simmons: Assistant Director
Information            Pamela L. Williams, Computer Specialist
Management and         Robert C. Reining. Staff Evaluator
Technology Division,
Washington, D.C.

(510523)               Page 30       GA0 ‘lMTEC‘W74FS   Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
                            Appendix IV
                            GIS Activities  at Other Svlrrtrd
                            Federal Agrnrirs

                            The National Preparedness Directorate has spent, $250,000 over 4 years
                            for the development of the Emergency Resource Management System
                            and the PC Risk I&t imation system. In addition, the Directorate has
                            spent $5.5 million over 10 years for the development of the Integrated
                            Emergency Managemcmt Information System, and has allocated $1 mil-
                            lion this fiscal year for software improvements and the development of
                            a microcomputer version of’ this system.

Computer Hardware and       IIardwarc includes 1 minicomputer, 12 workstations, and 6 microcom-
Software Used for GIS       putcrs. Soft.ware includ(xs commercial ATLAS GRAPHICS, PC GIDHE, PC
                            ITSA, MAPMASTEII: METAFIRE from the Department of Agriculture
                            Forest Service for I 1~~Fire Suppression Assistance Program: the Emcr-
                            gency Resource Management System and the PC Risk Estimation system
                            which are devclopcd and maintained by Agency personnel; and the Inte-
                            grated Emergency Management Information System which is developed
                            and maintained b> 1hc Drpartment of Energy Pacific Northwest Labora-
                            tory for the Feder;\l F:mc,rgency Managcmcnt Agency.

                            The Environmental I’rotcction Agency endeavors to abate and systemat-
Environmental               ically control national air, radiation, and water pollution. hazardous
Protection Agency           waste. pesticides, and toxic, substances. The activities of the Agency
                            include the developnrcnt of’ national programs, regulations, surveillance
                            and inspection progr;uns. and st,andards for pollution control; devclop-
                            men1 of cmcrgcncy prq)aredness guidelines; coordination of research
                            for pollution cant WI: and technical direction. training, and evaluation of
                            regional pollution 0 mtrol ac*tivit,ies.

Applications to Support     The Environment al l’rotc>ction Agency uses GIStechnology to identify
Mission                     and assess regional c>nvironment.al problems and trends. Examples of the
                            Agency’s C;ISa&\-it i(\y include:

                          m assessing risks to ground water from contaminants (such as under-
                            ground storage tank leaks or road salt drainage) in order to develop
                            well-head protect ion plans;
                          B developing emergt’m.y rcsponw management plans for hazardous spills;
                          . identifying pollution sour~s and populations at risk from radon or air
                            pollution cxposu~~~~ ( by mapping areas exceeding standards);
                          m studying long term irnpact,s on surface water of acid rain for the Direct/
                            Delayed liesponsc> I’tqjc~t. and characterizing the chemical status of
                            lakes and streams i’ot. 1hc>National Lakes and Streams Survey;

                            Page 28               GAO IMTEX -YO-74FS Geographic   lnfcmnation   Systems at Selected Agencies
                          Appendix IV
                          GIS Activities at Other Srlrctrd
                          Federal Agencies

                          In the Civil Works Programs, the Army Corps of Engineers researches,
- . Corps of              develops, manages, and executes engineering, construction and real
kingineers                estate programs related t,o rivers, harbors, and waterways; administers
                          laws for protection and preservation of navigable waters and related
                          resources such as wetlands; and assists in the recovery from natural

Applications to Support   The Army Corps of Engineers is applying GIS technology to prqject
                          siting, infrastructure and resource inventory and management, simula-
Mission                   tion of alternative plans, general master planning, installation manage-
                          ment, natural resource data base development, and special research
                          topics. In particular, the Corps’ Construction Engineering Research Lab-
                          oratory developed t hcaGeographic Resources Analysis Support System
                          to provide managemc,nt tools for Army environmental planners and land

                          The Corps’ Waterways Experimentation Station is using a GIS based
                          system to process airc.raft and satellite data for wildlife habitat identifi-
                          cation and mapping. Similarly, the Corps’ Cold Region Research and
                          Engineering Laboratory is employing GISto provide field offices with a
                          tool for water resourc*c management planning and to link satellite data
                          of rainfall, snow cover, and soil moisture to hydrologic models.

Estimated GIS Budget      The Army Corps of Engineers has spent approximately $5.6 million
                          through fiscal year 1988 for the acquisition of GIS hardware and
                          software. However. not all this hardware is dedicated solely to GIS work.

Computer Hardware and      A 1988 Army Corps of Engineers survey indicated that the Corps’ GIS
                           hardware included 1X microcomputers, 25 mid-range computers, 3 large
Software Used for GIS      computers, and 2 computers which are also used for Computer Aided
                           Design and Drafting. At that time, software included the public domain
                           Geographic Resources Analysis Support System and Map Overlay and
                           Statistical System, and c*ommercial ARC/INEY), ERDAS, and EI’PL.

                           The Federal EmtJrgcancyManagement Agency is chartered to (1) coordi-
Federal Emergency          nate the emergency preparedness and response resources at all govern-
Management Agency          ment levels to prc’pat-c for and respond to all natural, technological, and
                           attack-related eml>rgc!nc&; and (2) integrate activities concerned with

                           Pagr 2fi             GAO IbITE< -90.745% Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
                        ’   AppendixIV
                            GIS Activities   at Other Srlrrtrd
                            Federal   Agencies

                            also has initiated projects to assess radiation fallout and hazardous
                            waste risk at the Hanford nuclear processing facility, to conduct global
                            climate studies, and to determine the best sites for wind turbine

                            Energy’s Oak Ridge hational Laboratory has been developing and using
                            GIS since 1969 for national energy strategies, environmental impact
                            assessments and monitoring (such as strip mining damage), air and
                            ground pollution analysis (including acid rain, radiation fallout, haz-
                            ardous waste), global climate and coastline flooding studies, military
                            strategic planning and facility management, and emergency

Estimated GIS Budget        Office of Conservation and Renewable Energy officials estimate
                            spending $1 million per year for developing an automated geographical
                            data base of national solar radiation and other renewable resources.

                            Bonneville Power Administration officials estimate spending $60,000 for
                            fiscal year 1990 for c~quipmcnt, $550,000per fiscal year for acquiring
                            data and conducting analyses, and $200,000 to $250,000 per fiscal year
                            for staff salaries.

                            Pacific Northwest Laboratory staff spent $8 million on wind power GIS
                            development but prclsently have no funding for updating the data base,
                            and estimate spending an average $1 million per year on other GIS work.
                            Oak Ridge National 1,aboratory staff estimate spending an average $2.5
                            million per year on (;I’: work.

Computer Hardware and        Hardware includes 2 mainframe computers, 3 minicomputers, 12
                             microcomputers, >Itld 32 workstations (3 of which are connected to a
Software Used for GIS        minicomputer). Software includes commercial ARC/INFO, the public
                             domain Geographicxl Resources Analysis Support System, and IEMIS and
                             other GIS software d(~vrloped by agency personnel.

                             The Federal Highway Administration coordinates the use of highways
Federal Highway              with other modes of transportation to achieve the most effective bal-
Administration               ance of transportat icln systems. In addition, the Administration provides
                             technical assist,anc(aIO promote the use and adoption of innovative
                             highway engincc~ring practices by state and local governments, through

                             Page 24               GAO liWL’~:(‘-90-74FS C&graphic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
                           Appendix III
                           GIS Activities   at the Department
                           of Commerce

                           The National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service
                           hardware includes a mainframe computer, three minicomputers, and a
                           microcomputer plus five workstations and two microcomputers con-
                           nected to the main National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
                           weather system computer for a joint project with the University of

                           The Nautical Charting Division hardware includes a minicomputer for
                           developing a prototype GISthat would allow field offices to better
                           manage their data acquisit,ion (prototype may be installed at 50 sites),
                           and a mainframe computer, two stereoplotters, and five microcomputers
                           for the Integrated Digital Photogrammetric Facility. The Nautical
                           Charting Division is procuring 40 workstations as part of the Automated
                           Nautical Charting System II project.

                           Software has been developed by Kational Oceanic and Atmospheric
                           Administration personnel or by contractors as part of system

Planned GIS Procurements   The Nautical Charting Division awarded a contract in September 1988
                           for procurement of 40 workstations and development of GIS software for
                           the Automated Nautical Charting System II project. Current estimated
                           contract cost is $8 million, but it may increase to $14 million if require-
                           ments change. The Nautical Charting Division will conduct functional
                           and performance t.ests later this year and plans 6 months of operational
                           tests in 199 1 and final acceptance tests in spring 1992.

                            Page 22               GAO/IMTEC-90.74FS   Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
Appendix III

GIS Activities at the Department of Commerce

                          Within the Department of Commerce, GIS is used by the Bureau of the
                          Census and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as
                          discussed in the following paragraphs.

                          The Census Bureau collects, tabulates, and publishes statistical data
Bureau of the Census      about the nation’s population and economy for the development and
                          evaluation of economic and social programs. The principal functions of
                          the Bureau inclrnk the decennial censuses and current reports on popu-
                          lation and housing; the yuinquennial censuses and current reports on
                          agriculture, state and local governments, manufacturers. mineral indus-
                          tries, distributive> trades, construction industries, and transportation;
                          and statistics on forckign trade including data on imports, exports, and
                          shipping. Bureau products include printed reports, computer tapes, spe-
                          cial tabulations, and statistical directories that are useful in locating
                          information on spctcific subjects.

Applications to Support   To support, the 1990 census. t,he Census Bureau developed the Topologi-
                          catly Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing system which
Mission                   will combine maps. addresses, and other census geographical informa-
                          tion into one automat cd data base. The Bureau started disseminating the
                          census data files to government agencies and private industry in 1989.
                          Ilowever, delays in t Ina development of the Topologically Integrated
                          Geographic Encoding ;md Referencing system will result in the census
                          data files not. being lipdated with the map changes identified during pre-
                          census activities 1~11il after the 1990 census data are tabulated.

                                ___~     --~
Estimated GIS Budget      According to the t’is(.al year 1989 exhibit 43B, the Census Bureau will
                          obligate for the Gt,ographic Support, System $2.4 million per year for
                          fiscal years 1990 ttlrough 1992.’

Computer Hardware and     Software for the ‘I’opotogi~ally Integrated Geographic Encoding and
Software Used for GIS     Referencing system was developed by Census Bureau personnel. The
                          census data files ~1crtl d(,veloped through leased time on mainframes,

                          Page 20        GAO ‘IMTH‘-YO-74FS   Ckwgraphir   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
                          Appendix II
                          GIS Activities   at the Department
                          of Agriculture

Applications to Support   The Agricultural Research Service uses GIStechnology in studies per-
                          taining to planning and managing land and water resources, rangeland
Mission                   productivity, landscape ecology, mapping of soils, vegetation, and
                          animal geography. One major use is investigating the hydrologic charac-
                          teristics of watersheds to determine the spatial variability of surface
                          and groundwater resources, and to study the transport of pesticides and
                          other chemicals into the groundwater system. Other small scale studies
                          include mapping bee and other insect movements and spread in partic-
                          ular regions, and mapping vegetation using satellite data to characterize
                          crop productivity and consumptive water use.

Estimated GIS Budget      Agricultural Research Service officials estimate that the GIS hardware
                          and software budget ranges from $5000 to $40,000. In addition, an esti-
                          mated annual budget of $300,000 is needed to set up and maintain GlS at
                          various Service facilities. These figures do not include funds for data
                          acquisition, which could constitute a major part of the Service budget.

Computer Hardware and     Hardware cons&s mostly of microcomputers, but one application used a
                          minicomputer. Software includes public domain Geographical Resources
Software Used for GIS     Analysis Support System. Map Overlay and Statistical System, and Map
                          Analysis Program; and commercial ARC/INFO, ERDAS, EPPL, ELAS,
                          SPAKS, SIJRFER. anti TA4P.

                          The National Agricultural Statistics Service prepares estimates and sta-
National Agricultural     tistical reports on production, supply, and prices for crops, cattle, hogs,
Statistics Service        sheep, poultry, and related processed products. The Service prepares
                          these estimates by canvassing producers, processors, and buyers associ-
                          ated with agriculture. and issues reports on a weekly, monthly, and
                          annual basis.

Applications to Support   The National Agricultural Statistics Service has no strictly GIS projects
Mission                   ongoing, but it does have a research project on digital cartography called
                          Computer Assisted St ratification and Sampling to computerize a manual
                          process of land ust‘ dclincation and measurement. The Service’s GIS
                          activities are not n1uc.hbeyond educational at this point.

                           Page 18              GAO /IMTEWW74FS   Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
                           Appendix II
                           GIS Activities   at the Departnwnt
                           of Agriculture

                           The Forest Service plans to acquire a nationwide GIS as part of a
                           national Integrated Information Management Program. The estimated
                           cost of the GIS component of the national program is $1.2 billion over the
                           expected 12.year life of the system. This figure contains $237 million for
                           direct capital investment in hardware and software, plus $92 million in
                           direct support costs for contracting and installation of the hardware and
                           software. The remaining $906 million represents the management and
                           overhead costs above the direct supervision of the acquisition.

Computer Hardware and      Current hardware includes 94 minicomputers, 29 microcomputers, 11
                           workstations, and 4 c:ystems external to the Forest Service at other
Software Used for GIS      agencies and univel sities. Both public domain and commercial software
                           packages are used for C;IS.The public domain software includes the Map
                           Overlay and Statistical System, the Geographical Resources Analysis
                           Support System, and the Data General version of the Forest Service’s
                           Wildland Resource Information System. Commercial software includes
                           ARC/INK), SPANS, ERDAS, and GEO.

Planned GIS Procurements   The Forest Service has examined alternatives for placing GIS capabilities
                           in all of its 880 field offices. The Service received a Delegation of Pro-
                           curement Authority from the General Services Administration, and had
                           planned to issue a request for proposals by the end of March 1990. IIow-
                           ever, issuance of that request has been postponed pending final external
                           review and authorization to proceed.

                            The Soil Conservation Service is responsible for developing a national
- Conservation              soil and water conservation program by providing technical assistance
Service                     to private land users. The Service’s activities include conducting soil
                            surveys to determine soil use potentials (for crops or wetlands) and con-
                            servation treatment needs, conducting river basin and flood plain
                            surveys and developing water resource and flood prevention programs,
                            providing soil maps. resource data, and practical suggestions for
                            treating and using land, and developing implementation plans for
                            installing land trcatnlcnt measures.

Applications to Support     The Soil Conservation Service uses GIS technology in the development of
Mission                     soil survey geographic data bases and maps for natural resource man-
                            agement, for river basin and watershed planning, and for farm and

                            Page 16               GAO, IMTEC-90.74FS   Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
                          Appendix I
                          GIS Activities   at the Department   of
                          the Interior

                          The primary responsibilities of the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation
Office of Surface         and Enforcement are to assist state governments in regulating surface
Mining Reclamation        coal mining and reclamation activities, and to perform mine plan and
                          permit application reviews on federal lands.
and Enforcement

Applications to Support   The Office utilizes GE technology as part of its Technical Information
Mission                   Processing System, to assist federal and state regulatory agencies in con-
                          ducting environmental evaluations in order to determine the suitability
                          of land for mining and reclamation, in conducting inventories of mine
                          permits and abandoned mines, and in determining the volume of coal
                          deposits and impact of mine fires.

Estimated GIS Budget      According to the fiscal year 1991 exhibit 43H, the Office of Surface
                          Mining Reclamation and Enforcement will obligate $1.4 million per year
                          for fiscal years 1990 through 1992 for its Technical Information
                          Processing System.’

                          Agency officials estimate that $200,000 was spent to install the current
                          geographic information system. In addition, $40,000 per fiscal year is
                          spent on personnel training and installing new versions of software.

Computer Hardware and     Hardware includes 1 minicomputer with geologic surface modeling
Software Used for GIS     software, linked to 27 microcomputers (located in field offices).
                          Software includes commercial ARC/INFO.

                           ‘$4.2 million in estimated obhgations 1s plannrd for fiscal year> 1083 through 1996

                           Page 14               GAO/IMTEC-90.74FS     Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
                            Appendix I
                            GIS Activities   at the Drpartnwnl   of
                            the Interior

                            in terms of its suitability for irrigation to develop wetland and irri-
                            gated-land maps, to assess environmental impact for water management
                            studies, and to study the change in wildlife habitat over time.

Estimated GIS Budget        According to the Interior Digital Cartography Coordinating Committee
                            fiscal year 1988 annual report, the Bureau of Reclamation estimates
                            that $1.2 million for fiscal year 1990, $1.4 million for fiscal year 1991.
                            and $1.6 million for fiscal year 1992 will be spent, on GISprograms and
                            remote sensing programs. For the Bureau’s Earth Science Division, offi-
                            cials estimate that GISwork is currently about 11 percent of total project
                            funds, but that this will probably double to about 22 percent in the next
                            5 years.

Computer Hardware and       Hardware includes scsvcral minicomputers and 12 workstations.
Software Used for GIS       Software includes public domain Map Ovcrla~~ and Statistical System
                            and commercial ARC‘ ‘INK.

                            The mission of the Fish and Wildlife Service is to conserve and protect
Fish and Wildlife           fish and wildlife and their habitats. In the area of habitat preservation,
Service                     the Service’s activiticss include

                          - biological monitoring and studies of ecology and wildlife populations;
                          . surveillance of pesticides. heavy metals, and thermal pollution; and
                          - environmental impact assessments for hydroelectric dams, nuclear
                            power sites, stream ( hannelization. and dredge-and-fill permits,

Applications to Support     In its National Wetlairds Inventory project, the Fish and Wildlife Service
Mission                     has applied GIS technology to construct the Wetlands Analytical Map-
                            ping System (for digitizing, editing, and storing wetland data from aerial
                            photographs into a digital data base), the Map Overlay and Statistical
                            System (for geographically analyzing the digital wetlands data base),
                            and the Cartograptiic, Output System (for producing color maps, dia-
                            grams, and graphs)

                            The Service uses these systems to track wildlife migration patterns and
                            the rate of loss of national wetlands, to study the wildlife suitability of
                            wetlands for natural rcsourcc planning and management, to conduct

                            Pagr 12                GAO, IMTE(‘-90.74FS   Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
                          Appendix I
                          GIS Activities   at the Drpartmrnl   of
                          the Interior

Applications to Support   Through its Indian Integrated Resource Information Program, the
                          Bureau of Indian Affairs utilizes GIS technology to assist its field offices
Mission                   in a wide range of natural resource management activities concerning
                          forest, range, agric,ulturc. wildlife, and water resources.

                          For example, the Phoenix, Arizona, field office for the Fort Apache Res-
                          ervation uses GISto plan, track, and quant,ify timber harvesting, refores-
                          tation, thinning, prescribed burning, and wildlife habitat conflicts. The
                          Billings, Montana, field office for the Fort Belknap Reservation uses GIS
                          to support water-rights litigation by developing maps showing poten-
                          tially irrigable areas. currently irrigated areas, and historically irrigated
                          areas. In addition. t hcl Portland, Oregon, field office for the Yakima Res-
                          ervation uses GISto assess areas at risk to spruce budworm infestations.

Estimated GIS Budget      Bureau of Indian Afl’airs officials estimated that $2.9 million per fiscal
                          year is planned for the Indian Integrated Resource Information Program
                          for fiscal years 1990 through 1992.

Computer Hardware and     Hardware includes two minicomputers and five microcomputers
Software Used for GIS     (located at field ot’ficc>s).Software includes commercial ARC/INK).

                          The Bureau of Mines is responsible for ensuring adequate supplies of
Bureau of Mines           nonfuel minerals f’or national security and other needs. The Bureau col-
                          lects, analyzes. and publishes statistical and economic information on all
                          phases of national nonfucl mineral resource development, including
                          exploration, rcsour(‘(’ availability, production, shipments, demand,
                          prices, imports, and <)xports. Research is conducted by the Bureau to
                          provide the technology for extracting, processing, using, and recycling
                          tliese resources at reasonable costs and without harm to the environ-
                          ment and to the rvorhers involved.

Applications to Support   In its Mineral Land Assessment Program, the Bureau of Mines uses GIS
Mission                   technology to facilitatrl evaluation of mining districts and identification
                          of areas that are I’;{\ orable for mineral deposits.

                          In its Inventory of Land lTsc Restraints Program, the Bureau uses GE
                          technology to evalual e and display the impact of formal and informal

                          Page 10                GAO.‘IMTEC-YO-74FS   Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
                              Appendix I
                              GIS Activities   at the Depart men! of
                              the Interior

                              According to the fiscal year 1991 exhibit 43B, the Geological Survey will
                              obligate $14 million for fiscal year 1990 for MARK II and $20 million
                              each for fiscal years 1991 and 1992.’ For DIS II, it will obligate $11.3,
                              $13.6, and $12.9 million, respectively, for fiscal years 1990 through

                              The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for the total manage-
Bureau of Land                ment of 270 million acres of public lands and for the mineral resource
Management                    management of an additional 300 million acres, where mineral rights are
                              owned by the federal government. Bureau programs provide for

                          l the protection, development, and use of public lands and resources;
                          . the development of energy and mineral leases that ensure compliance
                            with applicable regulations governing the extraction of these resources;
                          . the surveying of federal lands and the establishment and maintenance
                            of public land and mining claim records.

Applications to Support        Through its Land Inl’ormation System, the Bureau of Land Management
                               utilizes GIS technology to develop resource management plans for public
Mission                        lands under its jurisdiction. The Land Information System links resource
                               information from national land and mineral records and from the
                               national Public Land Survey Syst,em.I

                               For example, the 15ureau has used GIS to study the impact of cattle
                               grazing on range land erosion and the coastal erosion on fishery produc-
                               tivity, to develop environmental impact statements concerning disposal
                               sites for spent oil-shale pilings, to conduct inventories of mineral and
                               coal resources, and 10 assist in granting mine permits.

                               The Bureau plans to incorporate ors into its Automated Land and Min-
                               eral Records System (N.ws). The mission of ALMKS is to develop and
                               implement an efficient automated system for recording, maintaining,
                               retrieving, and graphically displaying land description, ownership, and

                               Page A                GAO ‘IMTIXr90-74FS   Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies
Appendix I

GIS Activities at the Department of the Interior

                          Within the Department of the Interior, GE is used by the United States
                          Geological Survey. the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of
                          Indian Affairs, thcl Hureau of Mines, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Fish
                          and Wildlife Service. the National Park Service, and the Office of Sur-
                          face Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. The following paragraphs
                          discuss GIS activities in these agencies.

                          The United States Gc~ologicalSurvey’s primary responsibilities are to
United States             identify national land, water, energy, and mineral resources; classify
Geological Survey         federally owned lands for mineral and energy resources and water
                          power potential; investigate natural hazards, such as earthquakes, vol-
                          canoes, and landslidt>s; and conduct the National Mapping Program.
                          Products of the Geological Survey include maps, digital and carto-
                          graphic data, and t~~pori~son its energy, mineral, and water resource

Applications to Support   The Geological Survcl~, is using GIS technology in several parts of the
Mission                   agency. For exampk, t,he Geologic Division uses GISto assess mineral
                          and energy resourc(‘s. and to study the impact. of natural hazards such
                          as earthquakes ant1 (‘(~astitl erosion.

                          The Xational Mapping Division operates three cooperative and interdis-
                          ciplinary GIS research laboratories for improving the use and application
                          of the Geological Survey’s GeoData (cart.ographic, hydrologic, and geo-
                          logic data) to s01vc~(larth science, land use, and resource management
                          problems. The technology is demonstrated and transferred both within
                          the Geological Survtby and to other government agencies. Applications
                          are diverse and ha\ o Included geologic and watershed modeling, earth-
                          quake hazards rcdrlction, environmental assessment, hazardous waste,
                          urban planning, public hc>alth, forest and wildlife management, mineral
                          resource development ~and others. GIStechnology will be applied in the
                          MARK II modernization program to automate the preparation of the
                          Division’s map produc,t s. (;IS will also be used to characterize land for
                          modeling global changic~.

                          The Water ResourctBs IJivision has installed GIS at 40 offices located
                          nationwide and linked them together with the earth science Distributed
                          Information System. (;IS applications include boundary mapping for irri-
                          gation water rights. sllpport of groundwater modeling studies, analysis
                          of the relationship I )rl \ve~n land use and groundwater quality, analysis

                          Page 6         GAO ‘ IWfEC-9%74FS   Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies

Letter                                                                                                                 1

Appendix I                                                                                                             6
GIS Activities at the         lrnited States Geological Survey                                                         6
                              Bureau of Land Management                                                                8
Department of the             Bureau of Indian Affairs                                                                 9
Interior                      Bureau of Mines                                                                         10
                              lsureau of Reclamation                                                                  11
                              Fish and Wildlife Scrvicc                                                               12
                              National Park Ser\iicr                                                                  13
                              Office of Surface Minmg Reclamation and Enforcement                                     14

Appendix II                                                                                                           15
GIS Activities at the         Forest Service                                                                          1.5
                              Soil Conservation Service                                                               16
Department of                 Agricultural Research Service                                                           17
Agriculture                   National Agricultural Statistics Service                                                18

Appendix III                                                                                                          20
GIS Activities at the         Bureau of the Census                                                                    20
                              National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration                                         21
Department of
Appendix IV                                                                                                           23
GIS   Activities   at Other   Department of Encl-by                                                                   23
                              Federal Highway Administration                                                          24
Selected Federal              Army Corps of Engineers                                                                 26
Agencies                      Federal Emergency Management Agency                                                     26
                              Environmental Protc‘ction Agency                                                        28

Appendix V                                                                                                            30
Major Contributors to
This Report

                              Page 4         GAO/IMTEC-90.74FS   Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected Agencies

                  Third, the hardware and software used in the GISapplication varies
                  within and across agencies. Specifically, hardware includes minicom-
                  puters, microcomputers, workstations, and mainframes. Software types
                  include commercial software such as ARC/INXl, which is a trademark
                  of the Environmental Systems Research Inst,itute, public domain
                  software such as tho Geographic Resources Analysis Support System,
                  which was developed by the Army Corps of Engineers, and software
                  developed by agency or contractor personnel. Telecommunications can
                  be an important part of (;Is; however, we did not. specifically address
                  telecommunications as I)ill’t of the survey.

                  Our work, conducted during February and March 1990 in the Wash-
Scope and         ington D.C. area, is based primarily on interviews with program and
Methodology       contract officials, In addition, we obtained and reviewed summary
                  reports issued by the Federal Interagency Coordinating Committee on
                  Digital Cartography, the Interior Digital Cartography Coordinating Com-
                  mittee, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Environmental Protection
                  Agency. We also rc\%wcd agency budget exhibits submitted with the
                  fiscal year 1991 blitigct request that displayed information technology
                  obligations by fisc,al \car.

                  We will be sending copies of this report to the Chairman, House Com-
                  mittee on Approprial ions, and other interested members of Congress;
                  the agencies surveyed; the Director, Office of Management and Budget;
                  and others upon request.

                  This information was compiled under the direction of JayEtta Z. Hecker,
                  Director, Resources, (‘ommunity, and Economic Development Informa-
                  tion Systems, who can be contacted at (202) 2759676 should you
                  require additional information. Other major contributors are listed in
                  appendix V.

                  Sincerely yours.

                  Ralph V. Carlone
                  Assistant Comptrollo’ General

                  Page 2         (;AO/IMTE(:-90.74FS   Geographic   Information   Systems at Selected   Agencies