Geographic Information System (GIS)

GIS is an integrated collection of computer software and data used to view and manage information about geographic places, analyze spatial relationships, and model spatial processes.  A GIS provides a framework for gathering and organizing spatial data and related information so that it can be displayed and analyzed.

GIS is an integral part of the management and analysis of Army lands, especially here on Fort Gordon.  Over the years the field of GIS has matured and has subsequently become engrained in these processes.  The definition above captures the application of GIS here on Fort Gordon.

The Environmental Division is one of the primary users of GIS on Fort Gordon, so not only do we support our own geospatial requirements, we also help to coordinate with other organizations on Fort Gordon


At Fort Gordon GIS is used for...

  • Organizing and managing spatial data and metadata for asset management.
  • Assets can be anything such as buildings, roads, lakes, or woodpecker nest trees.
  • Spatial Overlay or Proximity Analysis to see how assets are distributed or to see where they are in relation to other features.
  • Terrain Analysis for line-of-site determination, slope determination, or to find the flow path of a stream.
  • 3D Modeling for visual analysis in a 3D environment.

GIS is widely used throughout Fort Gordon.  Much of that use occurs in the Environmental Division, but also occurs in other offices.  Below is a list and description of how GIS is used on Fort Gordon with links to other websites if applicable.


Who Uses GIS

Environmental Division

Cultural Resources Management - GIS is used to document the location of cultural resources such as graves and cemeteries, historic buildings, and archaeological sites.

Fish and Wildlife - GIS is used extensively in the management of natural resources for things such as threatened and endangered species management, and outdoor recreation management.

Forestry - GIS is used in forest resource management to record and evaluate things such as the timber production, prescribed fire, and pine straw and firewood collection.

Compliance  - GIS is used to assist in the compliance with environmental laws for things such as Water, Air, and Hazardous Materials.  For example, it is used to model surface water flow so prime locations for surface water sampling points can be determined.  After data collection it can be used to display the results in a spatial format.


Range Control

ITAM (Integrated Training Area Management) - GIS is used to management and maintenance of training areas and range operations.


Emergency Services

Emergency Dispatch and E911 - GIS is an integral part determining and displaying the location of a person calling 911.  This is done either through address matching for land-base phones or by triangulating the location from cell towers for cellular phones.  All this information is displayed on an interactive GIS map that lets the responders find the site quickly.


Signal Troops

Signal troops need to know the best location to set up a radio transmitter and receivers so that nothing obstructs the signal and line-of-sight is maintained.  This is easily accomplished with GIS and raster elevation data.


GIS Applications

Data Development and Organization - GIS data development, organization, and maintenance are the foundation of a high-quality GIS program.  Without good data, further analysis would not give accurate results or would simply not be possible.  The Environmental GIS Office puts a lot of effort into developing high-quality data, keeping it updated, keeping it organized, and making it available to those who need it.  This section describes our data library and the Army policies promoting data organization and maintenance.

Endangered Species Management with GIS - GIS is a powerful tool used in the management of endangered species such as the Red-cockaded Woodpecker.  It is used to both to map the current locations of the species and to analyze their habitat.  Examples of analyses are determining the habitat of the current populations and also modeling future habitat conditions for long-term planning.

NEPA GIS Applications - The NEPA office implements the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by identifying environmental impacts of proposed programs, projects, and actions on Fort Gordon.  For more information on the NEPA program at Fort Gordon please see the NEPA homepageGIS is used to precisely identify the resources affected by an action and the alternative actions.  A project of particular interest to the training community is the SlowGo-NoGo Map.  It is a synthesis of environmental sensitivity maps generalized to show levels of environmental restrictions on training.

Quality Management GIS Applications - Monitoring water quality requires accurate mapping of drainage basins and streams so any pollution can be tracked back to its source.  Recently the Environmental Compliance Branch initiated a contract to have these types of data developed and to have them integrated into a system for tracking water quality on Fort Gordon.


Useful Links

Installation Geospatial Information and Services (IGI&S) (AKO Login Required - This AKO webpage provides information for Army GIS policy, programs, documents, and user discussion.     

Environmental Science Research Institute (ESRI) - ESRI is an industry leader in GIS research and software production.

Spatial Data Standards for Facilities, Infrastructure, and Environment (SDSFIE) - This site provides details on SDSFIE news,

US Army Corps of Engineers Topographic Education Center (TEC) - This site has hundreds of GIS links organized by theme, policies, updates, and training.

United States Geological Survey (USGS) - The USGS provides accurate scientific data and educational information about the Earth.  To learn more about GIS or to download many different kinds of GIS data, maps, or satellite imagery, follow these links.     

USGS GIS Education - This webpage provides information on GIS educational resources.     

USGS GPS Education - Since Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are an integral part of a complete GIS, I’ve included this link for more information.     

USGS Publications - This webpage has links to USGS publications including maps, aerial and satellite imagery, GIS data, and more.


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