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Onondaga Lake Watershed – A Geographic Information System Project Phase I – Needs assessment and spatial data framework

September 19, 2005

In the fall of 2002, the Onondaga Lake Partnership (OLP) formed a Geographic Information System (GIS) Planning Committee to begin the process of developing a comprehensive watershed geographic information system for Onondaga Lake. The goal of the Onondaga Lake Partnership geographic information system is to integrate the various types of spatial data used for scientific investigations, resource management, and planning and design of improvement projects in the Onondaga Lake Watershed. A needs-assessment survey was conducted and a spatial data framework developed to support the Onondaga Lake Partnership use of geographic information system technology. The design focused on the collection, management, and distribution of spatial data, maps, and internet mapping applications. A geographic information system library of over 100 spatial datasets and metadata links was assembled on the basis of the results of the needs assessment survey. Implementation options were presented, and the Geographic Information System Planning Committee offered recommendations for the management and distribution of spatial data belonging to Onondaga Lake Partnership members. The Onondaga Lake Partnership now has a strong foundation for building a comprehensive geographic information system for the Onondaga Lake watershed. The successful implementation of a geographic information system depends on the Onondaga Lake Partnership’s determination of: (1) the design and plan for a geographic information system, including the applications and spatial data that will be provided and to whom, (2) the level of geographic information system technology to be utilized and funded, and (3) the institutional issues of operation and maintenance of the system.