Office of Planning, Environment, & Realty (HEP)
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FHWA GIS Efforts

General Efforts

FHWA is responsible for the planning, development, natural resource protection, safety, and security of the National Highway System. General Efforts describe broadly applicable GIS practices that can enable users to manage and complete more efficiently these and other responsibilities.

Application(s): HEPGIS Office of Planning and Environment Executive Geographic Information System
The Executive Geographic Information System Mapping Tool is a web-based mapping application that allows users to create and zoom to customized maps. Available map attributes include the NHS, urban boundaries, counties, Metropolitan Planning Areas, Federal and Native American Lands, water features, and airport locations.

Asset Management

FHWA provides national leadership in asset management principles for highway program administration; develops asset management policies for pavement, bridge, and system preservation; and partners with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), FHWA regional offices, and others to conduct nationwide programs.

Application(s): The Highway Economic Requirements System State Version (HERS-ST)
HERS-ST is a computer model that uses engineering standards to identify highway deficiencies and applies economic criteria to select the most cost-effective mix of highway system improvements.

Freight Office

The Office of Freight Management and Operations manages programs, develops policy recommendations, conducts research and analysis of the intermodal freight system, fosters public/private collaboration, and engages in technology transfer to promote efficient, seamless, and secure freight flows on the U.S. highway system, intermodal connectors, and across our borders.

Application(s): Freight Analysis Framework (FAF)
FAF is a policy and systems analysis tool developed to help understand freight demands, assess implications for the surface transportation system, and improve freight efficiency. The FAF database assists users in determining geographic relationships between local trade flows and the Nation's overall transportation system.

Highway Safety

FHWA promotes use of the best available safety practices, programs, and technologies in all phases of highway planning, design, construction, and operations. FHWA also ensures that transportation system plans and technologies and innovations improve safety of the public and the human and natural environments.

Application(s): GIS Tools for Improving Pedestrian and Bike Safety
The Highway Safety Information System (HSIS), an FHWA-sponsored, multistate database containing crash, roadway inventory, and traffic volume data for a select group of States, has developed GIS tools for addressing pedestrian and bicycle safety issues. The GIS Tools for Improving Pedestrian and Bike Safety project allows non-GIS specialists to perform spatial analysis in areas such as route planning for walking to school, street selection for bicycle routes, and high pedestrian crash zones.

Interstate and Border Planning

FHWA facilitates the development of transportation infrastructure between states and between the United States and Mexico and Canada. FHWA provides support on cross-border economic development and planning methods and promotes the comprehensive integration of safety considerations into transportation planning. GIS is particularly valuable in managing planning and transportation decisionmaking across borders, whether state borders or national borders, because it can allow for the holistic and efficient visualization of large and diverse geographic areas.

Application(s): National Highway System (NHS) Viewer
The NHS Viewer is a web-based mapping application that allows users to display the NHS at a statewide level. Users can also zoom into an NHS segment, complete with a detailed street network of the surrounding local area of interest.

Strategic Highway Network Viewer (STRAHNET) Viewer
STRAHNET is a system of public highways that provides defense access, continuity, and emergency capabilities for movement of personnel and equipment in both peace and war times. The STRAHNET Viewer allows users to display and zoom to segments of the STRAHNET.

Natural and Human Environment

FHWA is responsible for safeguarding valuable natural resources as part of the process of siting and developing transportation services. Among its other responsibilities, FHWA oversees air, water, and noise quality, as well as the protection of fragile ecosystems and the development of context-sensitive transportation facilities. FHWA also supports the development of alternative transportation facilities, including facilities aimed at pedestrians and cyclists. GIS is invaluable for the management of natural resources, allowing for important environmental assets to be easily identified and cataloged. These technologies also provide an effective means for identifying and minimizing potential conflicts with the natural and human environments.

Application(s): GIS Tools for Transportation and Community Planning

Project Development and Environmental Review

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) supports the harmonization of transportation planning and environmental review through the process of project development. With an emphasis on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), FHWA provides training and technical assistance in the areas of transportation decisionmaking, project development, public involvement, environmental streamlining, and environmental justice. GIS can be of value in the process of project development by assisting with the timely and thorough completion of the environmental review requirements.

Application(s): Federal Lands Highway (FLH)
FLH is working with land management agencies to establish a common basis for using, sharing, and expanding GIS for environmental compliance.

Real Estate Services

FHWA supports the acquisition and management of real estate as required for the development of transportation services and facilities; and, offers assistance, such as professional training and technical support. FHWA also provides resources on corridor management, property valuation, relocation assistance, utility management, and right-of-way management. The tools of GIS are important for the field of real estate management because they enable the visualization of geographic regions, allowing for topographic, geographic, cultural, and political boundaries and features to be incorporated into the planning process.

GIS in Right of Way Scan, Tallahassee, Florida
A Right of Way (ROW) scan covering GIS was held in Florida in July 2004. The scan, sponsored by FHWA's Office of Real Estate Services, was attended by representatives of 12 State DOTs and FHWA staff from both the field and Headquarters. Participants explored the development of new GIS tools that allow earlier input of ROW data to aid in project decision-making. A major goal of the scan was to integrate ROW data into environmental streamlining through GIS tools.

Automated Driveway Access Management Tool (ADAM)
ADAM, a system still under development, will augment the application and approval of driveway permits. The online procedures will provide linkage to Roadway Characteristics Inventories using high resolution GIS 3-D imagery. Resource person: Lannie Graham. 

Corridor Assessment and Land Acquisition Tool
The Corridor Assessment and Land Acquisition Tools are part of an innovative research study that is examining methodologies to review and analyze geospatial data. The Tools will help determine best cost alternatives and optimum right of way alignments using analytical and visualization schemes. Resource person: Lannie Graham.

Resource Center

FHWA's Resource Center provides technical support and program assistance along with training, and technology delivery to FHWA's Division Offices, State Departments of Transportation, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, and other transportation partners.

Application(s): Transportation GIS
The GIS website developed by FHWA's Resource Center provides information on relevant GIS issues for transportation planners and contains links to other state, local, and government GIS websites.

Transportation Planning

FHWA supports transportation decisionmakers as they manage the comprehensive transportation planning process. This process considers many factors, including the environment, land use, development, safety, and security. FHWA provides its partners and stakeholders with assistance on economic development, rural and metropolitan transportation planning, and professional capacity building. GIS assists transportation planners in identifying areas that are underserved by transportation infrastructure, pinpointing appropriate sites for the placement of a roadway or public transit facility, and matching transportation services with demographic and environmental features.

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