Detailed Justification for the Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) Program

Detailed Justification for the Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) Program

What Do I Need to Know Before Reading This Justification?

Much of the data in transportation is best represented on a map. The Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) program develops transportation maps that display this data to support USDOT agencies, the USDOT Crisis Management Center, Congress, and the transportation community. Analysis of the geospatial transportation data is also done by the GIS program to support USDOT policy and investment decisions.

The GIS Program has been Congressionally mandated in the past, and annually develops, maintains, and distributes the National Transportation Atlas Database (NTAD), a set of nationwide geospatial databases of transportation facilities, transportation networks and associated infrastructure.

USDOT's Geospatial Information Officer resides within BTS.

What Is The Request And What Will We Get For The Funds?

FY 2012 Geospatial Information Systems Program
Budget Request
($000)

Program Activity FY 2010 Actual FY 2012 Request ChangeFY 2010-2012
Geospatial Information Systems Program 1,758 1,521 -237
TOTAL1, 2 $1,758 $1,521 -$237

1 FY 2012 decrease reflects reallocation of operating expenses.

2 The total funding includes salaries and administrative expenses and contract program.

Key Actions::

  • Provide standards and technical expertise to USDOT.
  • Distribute transportation data for mapping applications.
  • Operate the USDOT ARRA web mapping application.
  • Develop the transportation layer of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) as established under Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-16.
  • Represent the USDOT in the transportation geospatial community at conferences and committees and provide a critical nexus for information and data sharing.

Key Outputs:

  • Produce and distribute the 2012 edition of the National Transportation Atlas Databases.
  • Continue to provide geospatial mapping, analysis, and application development services to Congress, RITA, the USDOT Crisis Management Center (CMC) and other USDOT modal administrations.
  • Continue to provide geospatial mapping, analysis, and application development services to Congress, RITA, the USDOT Crisis Management Center (CMC) and other USDOT modal administrations.

Key Outcomes:

  • Improved methods for understanding transportation activities patterns enabled through geographic identification of critical characteristics of livable communities, infrastructure weaknesses, and safety risks.

What Is The Program?

Strategic Goals: Safety, livable communities, environmental sustainability, state of good repair, and economic competitiveness.

Purpose: The GIS program provides the USDOT Geographic Information Officer, leads USDOT in the use of geospatial representation of transportation information and data, and partners with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and FHWA to maintain a geospatial dataset of EPA non-attainment areas to support USDOT environmental sustainability strategic goal.

Beneficiaries: The GIS program provides geospatial mapping, analysis, and application development services to RITA, USDOT Crisis Management Center (CMC), other USDOT agencies, and Congress. Cartographic products are used in publications; provided to the CMC to support their exercises and emergency situations; and are submitted to Congress.

Partners: EPA, FHWA, Data.gov, VisualDOT, and the CMC.

Program Description: The GIS program develops transportation geospatial data applications to support USDOT agencies, the CMC, Congress, and the transportation community. Program staff performs geospatial analyses to aid USDOT decision-makers. The program is leading efforts to develop web mapping tools that will monitor a range of sustainability metrics of U.S. cities. The GIS program has also developed geospatial applications to aid in the visualization and analysis of transportation data, including a desktop application to estimate multi-modal trip distances traveled by freight shipments and a web application to display the transportation projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Prior Year Accomplishments:

The GIS program will:

  • Produce and distribute the 2011 NTAD;
  • Develop new geospatial datasets for rail bridges and ferry routes;
  • Produce 2011 edition of Major Transportation Facilities of the United States map;
  • Support the CMC during National Level Exercise 2011 and during emergency situations;
  • Produce maps for USDOT publications;
  • Operate and maintain the USDOT ARRA web mapping application;
  • Develop new web mapping applications that showcase USDOT data;
  • Represent the USDOT in the FGDC, including chairing the Transportation Subcommittee;
  • Assist planning of AASHTO GIS for Transportation Symposium; and
  • Continue the partnership with NSGIC and complete the strategic plan for the Transportation for the Nation initiative.

Why Is This Particular Program Necessary?

The GIS program is responsible for the development of the transportation layer of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI) as established under Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-16.

The GIS program annually develops, maintains, and distributes the National Transportation Atlas Database (NTAD), which has been requested by Congress in the past.

The GIS program develops the transportation layer of the NSDI and annually distributes the NTAD. This program leads the USDOT effort to develop a web mapping tool to evaluate the sustainability of U.S. cities.

Without this funding, extensive transportation mapping data would not be available. USDOT would not have access to a standardized inventory of geospatial data necessary to map locations of critical transportation infrastructure. USDOT relies on the GIS program to provide geospatial data services related to the ARRA implementation.

How Do You Know The Program Works?

Effective: Customers receive high quality geo-spatial products from the GIS program. More than 2,000 NTAD DVDs are distributed annually. The NTAD download site receives more than 20,000 annual visits. During the past decade, the GIS Program has produced more than 60 special maps per year. These maps enhance USDOT publications and support the CMC.

Research: There is consistent high demand for products and services. The NTAD has been produced every year since 1995. Each year, over 2,000 DVDs are distributed. The American Customer Satisfaction Index web survey on the BTS site also captures stakeholder feedback on GIS products and services. BTS stakeholder outreach has revealed a desire for centralized GIS reporting at the USDOT and the GIS program provides this service for USDOT.

Efficient: Recent stakeholder outreach found the GIS program offers substantial value for a low-cost investment as evidenced by customer demand.

Why Do We Want/Need To Fund The Program At The Requested Level?

Funding Options: $1.521M would fund the base program.

History/Outyear Needs: FY 2010 $1.758M; FY 2012 $1.521M.