Original Date: 08/10/1998
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Geographic Information System
The Geographic Information System (GIS) correlates the features on an electronic digital map to entries in a relational database. This smart map can query information for reporting and analysis. Although the initial setup required a large investment of time to collect and input the data, the GIS has become an indispensable tool at Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWC), Lakehurst for environmental cleanup.
NAWC, Lakehurst occupies 7,412 acres of the New Jersey Pinelands. Like many government facilities, NAWC, Lakehurst supported different missions over the years, and accumulated large quantities of pollutants, wastes, and hazardous materials. Previous tracking and recording methods relied on manual generation of maps and procedures which, at best, were decentralized, labor intensive, and only as good as the technology afforded at the time. In addition, the environmental disposal practices of the past are no longer acceptable today.
In 1993, NAWC, Lakehurst’s Environmental Group was chosen by the Chief of Naval Operations to demonstrate GIS applications for environmental cleanup. The GIS, known as the Environmental Engineering Information System (ENVEIS), uses combinations of digital mapping and a relational database with information about the base (Figure 2-1). This digital map, similar to a site plan produced in AutoCAD, is a graphic file containing various layers corresponding to buildings, roads, utilities, and other features. Within an area, points and lines portray these features in a true coordinate system. The relational database, produced via Oracle, is similar to a list of information with columns indicating different fields (e.g., building name, year built, number of occupants). The advantage of the ENVEIS over CAD drawings is that the database is linked to the drawings. Information can be retrieved via queries that reference the map and list together, and almost all data can be defined as a geographical relationship.
The ENVEIS has contributed to NAWC, Lakehurst’s reputation as a leader in the site’s remediation process. This system enables NAWC, Lakehurst to accumulate and manage large volumes of text data; use DOS-based predictive models to show time and activity scenarios; and collect a wider variety of data such as soils, topography, wetlands, rare species, flood plains, and test sampling information. Maps and data which took days/weeks to retrieve can now be accessed in seconds. The system reduced costs for choosing well sites that best supported groundwater cleanup, and gained regulatory and public approval for natural attenuation, saving millions of dollars. The ENVEIS’s success in aiding environmental cleanup has created a growing interest throughout the base. The Public Works Department uses the ENVEIS to map utility systems (e.g., water lines, sewer locations). In addition, the ENVEIS is available basewide on the LAN so other departments can extract data via their own desktops. This system would easily be transferable to other government bases and industrial sites to aid in environmental cleanups.
Figure 2-1. Digital Mapping with Database Information
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.