Appendix C: Data Sources and Limitations
General data on the total number and dollar amount of grants are taken from published National Scenic Byways Program reports. However, most of the information presented and analyzed in this report is based on review by staff of Multimedia Data Services Corporation of individual grant applications that were funded between 1999 and 2006. Data taken directly from these applications include the following:
- Amount of grant
- Amount and source of matching funds
- Total projected project cost
- Location type (designated America's Byway®, other byway, or Statewide project)
In addition, project eligibility categories and work product categories were characterized based on a detailed review of grant applications for the 2001 through 2006 funding cycles.
Maps were based on GIS data maintained by MDSC under a contract to the Federal Highway Administration, and on analysis of additional GIS data available from various governmental and public sources.
The data are subject to a number of limitations:
- This report covers grant funding under the National Scenic Byways Program from the start of the program in 1992 through 2006 (the 2007 grant awards were announced while the report was being written). Where the analysis required detailed review of funded grant applications (for example, amount and source of matching funds, eligible activities, etc.), such review was conducted for the projects funded from 1999 through 2006 (or in one case, from 2001 through 2006). Therefore, information on some topics is not presented for the years 1992 through 1998 or 2000.
- Information is not collected on post-award project activities, including changes in project scope of work, matching funds, etc. Thus, this report covers grant awards, total estimated project costs and matching funds (and sources) as of the application, and proposed project outcomes, and does not necessarily reflect actual project activities, costs or expenditures.
- Many grant applications combine a number of disparate projects or activities. In such cases, the grant program does not maintain data on the allocation of grant funds or total project costs among these individual activities. Therefore, while it is possible to identify the number of projects that include each type of activity, it is not possible to identify what portion of the grant funds or total project cost is represented by each work product type.
As noted in this report and elsewhere, consideration should be given to (a) modifying the grant application to capture additional project information, and (b) monitoring projects following the grant award to completion.