A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a system designed to capture, store, modify, analyze, manage, and display all types of geographical data. The key to this technology is Geography – this means that some portion of the data is spatial. In other words, data that is in some way referenced to actual locations on the earth. This data is interconnected with tabular data known as attribute data. Attribute data is additional information about each of the spatial features. An example of this would be a home. The actual location of the home is the spatial data. Additional data such as the year built, type of home, number of stories, resident name, etc. would make up the attribute data. It is the association of these two data types that enables GIS to be such an effective problem solving tool through spatial analysis. GIS is more than just software. People and methodologies are combined with geospatial software and tools, to enable spatial analysis, management of large datasets, and the display of information in a map/graphical form.
In 1996, the Pueblo of Sandia recognized that GIS technology was a powerful tool to effectively support infrastructure management activities. GIS has the ability to support tribal decision-making by analyzing geographic or spatial information and then developing associated GIS data along with the development of relevant maps and reports. Over the years, the Pueblo of Sandia GIS program has grown into a robust technical services program that provides GIS technology and products related to mapping, GIS and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) data collection, GIS Map Books, online web mapping applications to the Pueblo of Sandia. The GIS program securely manages and maintains all of the valued cultural, natural, political and infrastructure asset data for the Pueblo of Sandia.
Advantages of GIS:
The applications and tools for mapping and asset management provided by the GIS platform is an important aspect of managing tribal government infrastructure. The GIS software is easily accessible and affordable to tribal employees due to the Enterprise License Agreement between the Bureau of Indians Affairs (BIA) and Environmental Systems Research Institute (Esri). Esri trained employees in the tribal government workforce are an asset to their departments.
GIS can be used as tool in both problem solving and decision making processes, as well as for visualization of data in a spatial environment. Geospatial data can be analyzed to determine the location of features and relationships to other features, where the most and/or least of some feature exists, the density of features in a given space, what is happening inside an area of interest (AOI), what is happening nearby some feature or phenomenon, and how a specific area has changed over time (and in what way). GIS end products are still considered the best presentation and communication tools.
Applications of GIS:
The GIS team is currently designing and developing comprehensive GIS based Land Information Management System (LIMS) in order to efficiently house all geospatial data with the Esri ArcGIS platform in order to plan and develop a sustainable community to meet the housing needs of the Pueblo of Sandia. The main objective of the LIMS is to support the planning process by allowing more accurate mapping and management of homes, roads, utility infrastructure, storm detention ponds, floodplains and more. The LIMS will lay the foundation for the use of GIS applications for infrastructure asset management. The LIMS will be designed in an industry-standard digital format and create datasets to allow for data analysis, asset management and accurate reporting for physical assessment data and modernization of Pueblo’s homes. The GIS program is also responsible for coordination and overseeing of the collection, analysis, conversion, organization, and maintenance of geographic data for use on Pueblo’s various projects. This data is used for continual compliance with organization-wide GIS based web mapping and other related data requests.
GIS also allows for the development of interactive web mapping applications. Please scroll down to see some of these applications. These applications can be accessed via standard web browsers. These applications allows for viewing GIS data for end users that don’t have access to GIS software. No proprietary is shared or displayed over these interactive web applications.
Other GIS applications include Emergency Managers assessing natural disaster potential by searching for data on the internet and providing on maps for flood potential, snow warnings, fire hazards; Land Surveyors or Realty Staff using Global Positional System (GPS) and GIS tools to create legal descriptions and plot boundaries; Transportation Department staff marking locations of center lines and cataloging required improvements for particular road sections; Utility Workers and Engineers, marking utility poles or water/sewer lines and determining which houses are connected to the network; Planners for site assessment and selection analyses and assist with locating areas for new building recommendations that are closest to utilities, existing roads and communities, and avoid adverse impacts to water resources.
GIS program goals:
The goal of the Pueblo of Sandia’s Geographic Information Systems Program is to securely manage the Pueblo’s geospatial data efficiently and enforce data integrity. The objective is to organize all data with a logical, clear structure and labeling system to enable all authorized users to access geospatial data and the consolidation of fragmented GIS information and to improve understanding of each GIS data set and how it relates to other data within a spatial and temporal context via the Esri ArcGIS platform. The GIS program also follows systematic application of quality control/quality assurance protocols during GIS workflows for new as well as updated existing data.
The Pueblo of Sandia GIS program’s long term goals are classified as follows:
Geospatial Data Management:
The goal is to manage Pueblo of Sandia’s (POS’s) Geospatial data efficiently and enforce data integrity. The objective is to organize files with a logical, clear structure and labeling system to enable all authorized users to access geospatial data. The program staff uses OnBase and a Sharepoint GIS site for consolidation, storage and management of geospatial data.
Development of Comprehensive Land Information Management System (LIMS):
The goal is to design and develop a comprehensive LIMS with the Esri ArcGIS platform, which is a multi-year goal, to plan and develop a sustainable community to meet the housing needs of the Pueblo of Sandia. The main objective of the LIMS is to support the planning process by allowing more accurate mapping and management of homes, roads, utility infrastructure, storm detention ponds, floodplains and more.
Field Data Collection and Data Maintenance:
The goal is to collect, coordinate and oversee the collection, analysis, conversion, organization, and maintenance of geographic data for use on Pueblo’s various projects such as, mapping of Residential, Agricultural Assignments, Utilities Infrastructure, Tribal Roads, Drainage Ponds, Firing Range, Wet Storage Facility, Waste Transfer Station, etc. This process also assists in managing and maintaining the LIMS with updated and new data that is collected and developed from various sources.
Mapping/Web-Mapping/Other Data Requests:
The goal is to have continual compliance with organization-wide GIS based mapping and other related data requests. The objective is the development of digital mapping/data sharing system (Adobe PDF maps to be shared via Sharepoint to all authorized users) via Esri ArcGIS platform. Continued mapping of Residential, Agricultural Assignments, Utilities Infrastructure, Tribal Roads, Drainage Ponds, etc. and interactive GIS web mapping applications.
GIS Program Management:
The goal is to increase efficiency of the GIS program directives and operations and manage all programmatic functions in a timely and efficient manner by actively managing GIS Program infrastructure and staff via effective work allocation, evaluating performance, preparing monthly progress reports, and ensuring for the protection of Pueblo of Sandia geographic information.
The GIS program also maintains program partnerships within the Pueblo of Sandia and outside entities and the program also aims to provide GIS educational resources and guidance, as needed to other departments.
Interactive Web Mapping Applications
The interactive web mapping applications shown below are developed by the Pueblo of Sandia GIS staff for end user reference. These applications can be accessed via standard web browsers and are created using ArcGIS Online -AGOL (https://www.arcgis.com/home/index.html) and CartoDB (https://carto.com/) platforms. The data displayed in these applications is publically available and were acquired from the relevant public domains such as the State of New Mexico Oil Conservation Division (OCD), Sandoval County, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), National Park Service (NPS), New Mexico Resource Geographic Information System (RGIS), U.S. Census Bureau TIGER Data , US Geological Survey (USGS), etc.
Please contact the GIS team using the email address provided above if you have any questions/feedback or require assistance using any of the interactive web applications.
GIS Data Resources
Here are some links to publicly available geospatial data for New Mexico:
- RGIS New Mexico Resource Geographic Information System Program
- City of Albuquerque, NM GIS Data
- Bernalillo County, NM GIS Data
- TIGER Products – Geography – U.S. Census Bureau
- Using the National Flood Hazard Layer Web Map Service (WMS) in Google Earth™
- FEMA NFHL Google Earth Application Instructions