Interactive Web-Based Mapping in Consulting

by Tom C. Doherty
May 14, 2014
0

EnviroAtlas

Whether it is for Due Diligence, Ecological Services, Remediation, or Brownfield projects, the Team at Envirologic uses helpful interactive mapping tools to assist our assessment activities. We use these tools to map sites with known contamination, collect soil profiles, identify renewable energy projects, understand diverse ecosystems, look at historic aerials, and familiarize ourselves with new landscapes. As our State and Federal partners acquire more data about our environment, it becomes critical to understand how new technology can guide projects. We wanted to share a couple of these user-friendly, free, and interactive web-based mapping tools with some our followers:

In 2012, the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service released a Wetlands Mapper to provide information regarding characteristics and functions of wetlands, riparian, deepwater and related habitats. Our Ecological Services staff uses this program to gather information about wetland communities and to identify habitat classification and cover type.

In May of 2013, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) released an Environmental Mapper that will assist consultants, property/business owners, and municipalities in visualizing publicly available information from the State. The Environmental Mapper can assist these entities in their efforts to understand Land Information (Section and Range), Legislative Districts, Land Use Restrictions (Restrictive Covenants, Notice of Corrective Action, and other Institutional Controls), and Environmental Management related to storage tanks. Our Due Diligence and Compliance teams use these tools to identify Leaking Underground Storage Tanks during Phase I/II Environmental Site Assessments, and can help to understand other Environmental Management Issues.

In December of 2013, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the Web Soil Survey to assist planners, consultants, developers, conservation workers and agricultural institutions in their efforts to understand available information about soil profiles throughout the U.S. Our Due Diligence and Hydrogeology teams use the Web Soil Survey to understand soil conditions, soil profiles, and value this as a critical part of the assessment process.

On May 6, 2014 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) released EnviroAtlas, which is an interactive tool for planners and policy makers. The program has over 300 layers to look at: demographics, ecosystem and biodiversity (water, natural hazard mitigation, climate data, recreation, food and fuel), as well as elevation profiles and information on hydrogeology. Although this the newest tool in the Mapping Toolbox, our staff have already found this useful to understand land ownership boundaries (Tribal, State, and Federal Land) and look at land-use.

These are just some of the newer mapping tools that we use and as Envirologic expands into different markets we will utilize these tools to better understand environmental issues, wetlands delineation, and hydrogeology. We can also use these tools anticipate environmental and redevelopment issues.

If you have questions about any of our services or would like us to explore a project do not hesitate to call or email any of our staff.


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