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Planning and Air Quality

Visualization/GIS and Transportation Planning
Image of the Continental U.S. with the words Transportation GIS


"Its more than just points, lines & polygons"

What's new



According to Wikipedia, "a mashup is a web application that combines data from more than one source into a single integrated tool". The term Mashup implies easy, fast integration, frequently done by access to open API's and data sources to produce results data owners had no idea could be produced. An example is the use of cartographic data from Google Maps to add location information to real-estate data, thereby creating a new and distinct web service that was not originally provided by either source. A number of the States are implementing mashups to share their information with the general public.

Ohio has created a system to show construction, road closures, web traffic cameras, and weather related pavement sensor data that is a mashup built with Microsoft Virtual Earth.

Transportation Network Sharing Pooled Fund Project

The Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) in partnership with the six other departments of transportation are involved in a consortium of public and private entities. The consortiums purpose is the development of computer based tools that facilitates geospatial transportation data sharing and integration providing a multitude of business benefits. The Geospatial Integration and Sharing Data Consortium (GISDC) is funded via a Transportation Pooled Fund (TPF) arrangement and managed by WSDOT. The consortium is actively seeking the participation of other state departments of transportation who will benefit from the results of this project.

The goal of the consortium is to research, develop and implement a variety of software tools and procedures for sharing and integrating geo-spatial transportation data. There is a need to share data among state, county, city, and other jurisdictions in order to significantly reduce the time, effort, and expense of transportation projects in which integrated multi-jurisdictional and/or multi-modal data is required.

Certification of GIS Professionals - Are you Certifiable?

GIS Professionals have struggled for years to receive recognition for their training and talents. A number of States have just started to license selected cartographers, mapping scientists, GIS analysts and/or photogrammetrists. A number of people have seen professional certification as a means of being recognized for their efforts. There is a difference between certification and licensure. Certification is recognition by one's colleagues and peers that an individual has demonstrated professional integrity and competence in their field. Certification is not a substitute for licensure of a profession that is statutorily governed by the States to protect the public health, safety and welfare. Both ASPRS and URISA have certification programs.

ASPRS certifies photogrammetrists and mapping scientists specializing in GIS or remote sensing. There are different skills needed by GIS professionals than mapping scientists. The new URISA GIS Certification Institute certifies these GIS practitioners. At the current time, there are no States that license GIS professionals.

Certification sites:



Continuing Knowledge Improvement


Applying GIS and Spatial Data Technologies to Transportation

FHWA has a training class on use of GIS technology in Transportation. You can arrange to attend or host the class through the National Highway Institute NHI 151039A "Applying Geospatial Data Strategies to Transportation Planning". This course provides an overview of transportation applications that can use today's major spatial data technologies and trains participants on how to implement these applications from a planning perspective. Length: 2 days. For more information, go to the National Highway Institute NHI website. To attend the class or to host a session in your State see the NHI site and click on the request or schedule buttons.

Use of GIS within Environmental Streamlining and Stewardship

Tailored to audience requirements (topics and length), provides a general overview of spatial data technologies and how these can be used to enhance environmental decision-making and streamlining. Length: 2 hours to 1.5 days. For more information, contact ben.williams@dot.gov or kimberly.majerus@dot.gov.

Linking Conservation and Transportation Planning

An opportunity for transportation and conservation planners to develop relationships, learn about each other’s processes and data needs, find ways to improve existing processes as they currently exist, and support the integration of environmental considerations into transportation planning process. Included in this workshop is discussion of GIS based tools to aid in linking these two areas. Length: 2 days. For more information, contact rebecca.lupes@dot.gov.

GIS and Transportation Planning Technical Assistance

Tailored to audience requirements (topics and length), Resource Center specialists provide technical assistance on spatial data technologies and how these can be used to enhance transportation planning. Length: Depends on customer requirements. For more information, contact ben.williams@dot.gov or brian.betlyon@dot.gov.

The Geospatial Information Systems for Transportation Symposium(GIS-T)

The AASHTO Information Systems Committee's GIS Task Force hosts the preeminent Symposium focused on GIS use within the transportation community. It has cosponsors from the Urban & Regional Information Systems Assoc., American Society of Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing and the Highway Engineering Exchange Program, FHWA, FTA, BTS. For more information about the upcoming Symposium see GIS-T. Joe Hausman is the Workshop Chairman for the Symposium. Each year, 8 workshops are held the day before the Symposium starts. We are always looking to make the workshops more valuable to the transportation community! If you have ideas for workshops that you would like to attend, instructors that do an excellent job or changes that will help you use GIS tools to accomplish Transportation goals, please send Joe a message.

Models based upon GIS

Minnesota DOT Archaeological Predictive Model

Florida DOT Efficient Transportation Decision Making System


Univ. of Kansas links to online GIS and Remote Sensing Data

National Center for Geographic Information & Analysis

Agency Programs


The National Consortia on Remote Sensing in Transportation http://www.americaview.org/

BTS files

National Transportation Atlas Database Shapefile Download Center

FHWA Planning GIS Viewer (HEPGIS)

FHWA's GIS in Transportation

National Highway System (NHS) Maps

NHS Intermodal Connectors

Non DOT Agencies

Corps of Engineers
Internet Guide to GIS Resources

Window to My Environment

GIS in Transit Conference

URISA GIS in Transit Conference


National Atlas
Earth Resource Observation System Data Center
National Mapping Information Page
The National Map Viewer
USGS Geodata Portal

Enterprise GIS System - Consolidated Plans, Empowerment Zones/Enterprise Communities and Revitalization areas etc.

Other GIS Viewers

Florida Geoplan Center

National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NIMA)
Raster Roam Imagery Viewer


Federal Geospatial Data Committee (FGDC)

Federal Environmental Data Framework "EcoINFORMA" You can find data (Ecosystems.Data.Gov), and you can explore different thematic areas in depth using our new data viewer, now available here. Using the viewer, you can mashup data from a number of rich “data hubs” including:

OGC Geospatial One Stop Initiative

International Standards Organization TC211 Standard

Federal Data discovery catalog(DATA.GOV) http://www.data.gov/

Image of roadway with the words "Visualizing Transportation"

Visualization technology has applications in many parts of the transportation programs, planning, public involvement, environmental evaluation and engineering design.

FHWA's website on examples of Visualization in Planning. Here you can learn about noteworthy practices and innovative uses of visualization for transportation planning, and who to contact in FHWA about questions or issues on visualization in planning. https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/scenario_and_visualization/visualization_in_planning/

FHWA's Office of Project Development and Environmental Review has been developing examples of project level visualization used in environmental decision making. These are being added to the visualization in planning website.

FTA has had a contract under the Public Transportation Participation Pilot Program with Hunter College and Parsons Brinkerhoff that involves the use of 3D interactive visualization tools for public participation. It involved a survey of usage and the development of examples. These will be posted to a Pilot Program website when it is created.

There are a number of transportation agencies developing visualizations to communicate with their decision makers and the general public. Here are some examples:

The Baltimore Regional Commission shares a number of their information through webmaps and Google Earth.


Page last modified on June 5, 2017
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