USGS Interactive Map of the Colorado Front Range Infrastructure Resources
Laura R.H. Biewick, Gregory L. Gunther, Stephen B. Roberts, James K. Otton, Troy Cook, and Neil S. Fishman
Infrastructure, such as roads, airports, water and energy transmission and distribution facilities, sewage treatment plants, and many other facilities, is vital to the sustainability and vitality of any populated area. Rehabilitation of existing and development of new infrastructure requires three natural resources: natural aggregate (stone, sand, and gravel), water, and energy http://rockyweb.cr.usgs.gov/frontrange/overview.htm.
The principal goals of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Front Range Infrastructure Resources Project (FRIRP) were to develop information, define tools, and demonstrate ways to: (1) implement a multidisciplinary evaluation of the distribution and quality of a region’s infrastructure resources, (2) identify issues that may affect availability of resources, and (3) work with cooperators to provide decision makers with tools to evaluate alternatives to enhance decision-making. Geographic integration of data (geospatial databases) can provide an interactive tool to facilitate decision-making by stakeholders http://rockyweb.cr.usgs.gov/frontrange/overview.htm.
The USGS interactive map of the Colorado Front Range infrastructure resources is a Geographic Information System (GIS) database constructed to provide tools to spatially analyze natural resource data essential for making well-reasoned decisions about land use. Many USGS disciplines in conjunction with state and local groups and other cooperators have provided impartial, scientifically-based, societally-relevant resource information essential to the region’s infrastructure. This multidisciplinary evaluation of the distribution and quality of natural resources has been organized and consolidated in one map document intended to be used largely for integrating any or all of these geospatial data sets. The GIS data are available for interactive analysis as a published map file (PMF). PMFs can be viewed, explored, or printed using any ArcGIS (ESRI, 2000) desktop product, including ArcMap and the no-cost ArcReader (ESRI, 2008) application. Users are able to interact with and query the data without having a GIS software license. The interactive map allows the user to do such things as: (1) select which layers are visible, (2) zoom and pan, (3) identify features, and (4) print custom maps. A layer can also be declared active for identifying and zooming functionality. This interactive map serves the need to disseminate information and products to customers in a readily usable format. An important aspect of this product is that it can be used by customers (decision-makers and the general public) who may or may not have any GIS expertise or highly sophisticated equipment.
This interactive map contains energy resource geospatial data along with publicly available natural resource data that was produced by the multi-divisional USGS Front Range Infrastructure Resources Project. This product provides links to the numerous sources of data (see references) that were produced for the project. This product would not be possible without the diligent work of many GIS professionals, and we sincerely thank the authors (see references) of these geospatial data sets for their contributions.