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graphic if various scales of precision for water data mapping with digital elevation models

Goal – Development and widespread use of a comprehensive and consistent surface water database for the Commonwealth:

  • Objective – Designed as default and authoritative surface water basemap for the Commonwealth.
  • Objective –Spatially compatible with current imagery and LiDAR.
  • Objective –Provides reference frame for regulatory and analytical studies, modeling and data.
  • Objective –Serves as the basis for data catalog applications and regulatory simplification.

Why now? – We are at a crossroads of landscape changes, enhanced technology, and decreased budget:

  • Our surface water data is incompatible with our other modern base mapping, and there are no budgetary plans to complete the development that halted in 2008.
  • Flooding remains our largest hazard and oil/gas related activities are changing the landscape, and management of both is negatively impacted by not having accurate water data.
  • We cannot integrate stormwater in our surface water models at current scales.
  • Readily available technologies make it possible to work collaboratively on large initiatives.
  • A study of data availability and type is a good vehicle for identifying and fixing inadvertent regulatory complexity and inefficiencies. 

Milestones - This project will require creative and complex funding, will cause shifts in regulatory programs, and will benefit from planning and foresight about the water resource beyond normal political and budgetary cycles.

  • 2013-2014: Concept, Promotion and Initial Definition
  • 2014 : Initiative Support/Partner Recruitment/Champion Development
  • 2015: Continued Concept Development
    • Data Model Investigations
    • Pilot Data Development – Lancaster County
    • Supporting Data Evaluation
  • 2016–2019: Lidar Upgrades, Flowpath Derivation Trials; Promotion, Planning 
  • 2019- 2022: Infrastructure Setup/Data Production/Quality Control/Application Development 

Skills Needed – Geodatabase design, application development, data standards implementation, grant writing, regional promotion/collaboration, and legislative advocacy. 

Initiative Contacts

  • Eric Jespersen, Keystone GIS; e-mail Eric; 717-475-7869
  • Matt Mercurio, CivicMapper; e-mail Matt; 315-420-0620
  • Ellen Fehrs, DCNR Bureau of Geological Survey; e-mail Ellen; 717-702-2025

Reports & Background Documents

You can access previous reports and documents by visiting this repository.

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