GIS gives Texas map a whole new look

GIS gives Texas map a whole new look

A notice saying, 'Texas, digitally remastered,' greets visitors to the Texas Strategic Mapping Program's Web site, at

The Texas Geographic Information Council is transforming the Lone Star State into a seven-layer geographic information system.

The council is made up of about 50 representatives of counties, state agencies and companies, state cartographer Drew Decker said.

The mapping program, also called StratMap, has seven layers:

•'Digital orthoimages: These were made from color infrared aerial photos taken from 1995 to 1997. Each digital orthophoto takes up about 154M, and it takes 17,199 of them to make a map of Texas.

•'Digital elevation models: This layer records surface elevations.

•'Contours: This layer contains the elevation contours for standard U.S. Geological Survey quadrangle terrain measurements.

•'Water features: This layer contains data for all flowing water, standing water and wetlands.

•'Transportation: This layer is built on top of digital data about highways.

•'Political boundaries: They include city, county, state and national boundaries plus the boundaries of national parks, wildlife refuges and military bases.

•'Soil surveys: The National Resources Conservation Service, an agency of the U.S. Agriculture Department, is digitizing 150 county soil surveys for StratMap.

Decker and his team work on an SGI 250-MHz Octane workstation with a MIPS R10000 processor and 128M of RAM.

The program is slated to end in August 2001, but the data will still need to be maintained and updated, Decker said.


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