BLM app takes final step to the Web

BLM app takes final step to the Web

'It's an interactive Web service that helps land managers, data providers and the public access and share geographic data.'

GeoCommunicator links land records and data from federal, state and local agencies

With the June launch of GeoCommunicator, a portal that offers geographic and land-related information, the Bureau of Land Management has completed the first module of its National Integrated Land System project.

'For the last 225 years, land records have been filed manually in local offices,' said Leslie Cone, project manager with the Land and Resources Projects Office in Denver. 'BLM has been trying to automate the entire process of providing surveys and land information to agencies and the public and put it on the Web.'

The bureau launched NILS in 1999 to manage land records in a geographic information systems environment, Cone said. BLM has spent $3.5 million on the project'allocated by the bureau's Investment Technology Board'every year since.

When BLM started the project, it included 12 states, 12 counties and agencies such as the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the National Park Service.

The GeoCommunicator portal, at, is one of the four modules of the NILS project, Cone said.

'It's an interactive Web service that helps land managers, data providers and the public access and share geographic data,' she said.

In 1999, the bureau awarded a four-year contract to Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. of Redlands, Calif., to build the portal.

ESRI used its ArcIMS 3.1 to create, publish and administer the links to map services. ArcSDE selects and stores geographic data that feeds map applications. ArcView 8.1 streamlines data from ESRI's Geography Network, a portal for raw data, maps and other geographic information.

GeoCommunicator shares a database with the Geography Network but offers more applications, Cone said.

For instance, users can search for a particular township by latitude and longitude or by the name of the place, Cone said. Through a subscription feature, users are notified when new data arrives on the portal.

'A person in Jefferson County, Colo., will be automatically notified about any updates in that area through e-mail,' Cone said.

Another feature, called the land manager, helps users find information about federal land boundaries.

'That's important because people do not necessarily know which agency manages what land and whom to contact,' Cone said.

The portal offers forms through which data providers can post map services, images, and geographic and land reference material.

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