GIS for integrating environmental site remediation and compliance information

Download GIS for integrating environmental site remediation and compliance information

Post on 11-Jun-2016




1 download


GIS for Integrating Environmental Site Remediation and Compliance Inf orrnation Izak Maitin GlS and advanced visualization system technology for displaying underground conditions is being applied extensively to site investigations by federal agencies. Environmental compliance systems relating to emissions management, permit- ting, chemical invent0 y management, and traditional adherence to regulations have not received a comparable degree of application of GlS technology; they are being addressed by more traditional database management approaches. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate an integrated approach whereby a common database structure and GlS are used to manage both remediation and regulato y compliance data at largegovernment facilities, and to provide access to information at a management level. The system integrates facility drawings, process flow diagrams, building drawings, photographs, MSDS documents, budgets, regulatory drivers, and remediation costs and schedule data within a common framework. The system also interfaces with high-end and low-end visualization software tools. The environmental movement in the United States, beginning in the 1960s, has evolved to a new level of activity in the 1990s. Initial policies of cost minimization and policies aimed at minimal efforts to achieve compliance have been supplanted by environmentally proactive poli- cies in many progressive industrial organizations. Environmental issues and green policies are also being used to foster market image and competitive advantage. These attitudes are now beginning to transcend into the federal government sector. Facility Management (FM) and Geographic Information System (GIS) technologies can play a major role in effecting integrated and usable information systems to support environmental needs. Learning from the historical experience of U.S. industry in conjunction with the new information technologies, federal agencies can be more efficient in addressing the demands and challenges that they face regarding envi- ronmental issues. Izak Maitin is a Senior Project Scientist with E R M Program Management Company, Exton, Pennsylvania. Federal Facilities Environmental Journal/Spring 2 996 37 CCC 1048-4078/96/070137-22 Q 1996 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. lzak Maitin K A number of factors affect the information burden on federal agencies. This article describes the issues that must be addressed by federal agencies as they deal with the information management demands in the light of recent environmental policy changes. It addresses GIS as a strong integrating technology that complements the movement toward graphi- cal user interface (GUI) technology. Two environmental missions, com- pliance and remediation, are discussed, along with the need for integrat- ing the organizational information associated with these missions. Fi- nally, a prototype system that has been developed to illustrate the integration concept is described, and future directions for evolving the prototype based on emerging information technologies are described. ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION DEMANDS ON FEDERAL FACILITIES A number of factors affect the information burden on federal agen- cies. Government facilities, particularly those in DOD and DOE, are faced with monumental environmental issues. Many federal facilities are operated or managed by large industrial corporations (O&M con- tractors). These organizations have experienced the evolution in envi- ronmental attitudes stemming from the laws, regulations, social climate, and the economics of competition. Superfund sites on federal- facilities are in various stages of investigation and remediation. The base closure programs driven by the end of the Cold War will increase demands associated with RCRA compliance. The Executive Order (E.O. 12856) signed by President Clinton on August 3, 1993, directly challenges federal agencies to become leaders in pollution prevention and regula- tory policy implementation. The information management issues asso- ciated with community right to know are also being imposed on logistics arms of federal agencies. There has been a dramatic growth in regulatory requirements im- posed on corporate America during the past 25 years. Exhibit 1 illus- trates the increase in regulations relating to environmental, safety, and health issues imposed on U.S. industry. Prior to the formation of EPA, there were two relevant federal laws; by 1990, there were 23. Corre- sponding state laws and regulations have generally tracked the federal laws in varying degrees to impose further compliance requirements. Associated with these laws are the federal regulations defining how the legal requirements are to be addressed. Exhibit 2 illustrates the trend as measured by the number of pages of regulations to be addressed by the legal and environmental, health, and safety (EH&S) organizations within corporate America. Understanding, accessing, and acting on these documents represents one important aspect of the information management burden. INFORMATION MANAGEMENT- WHERE THE WORLD IS GOING During the 1980s, personal computers entered the market, beginning a long-term transition from mainframe, time-shared computing to PC applications. Word processing, spreadsheet, and database management 38 ~ ~ _ _ _ Federal Facilities Environmental Journal/Spring 1996 GlS for lntegra ting Environmental Site Remediation and Compliance Information Federal Facilities Environmental Journal/Spring 1996 39 lzak Maitin Exhibit 2. Growth in Number of Pages of Federal Environmental Regulations 100,000 80,000 Number of Pages 60,000 40,000 20,000 0 1970 - 1975 1976 - 1980 1981 - 1985 1986 - 1990 1991 - 1996 software packages have changed the way professionals and office work- ers conduct business. The stand-alone PC has subsequently given way to local area networking (LAN) technology, which is now commonly used by most organizations. Because of the ease of use of PC application software, engineers and scientists developed a variety of applications designed to support their environmental needs. Many of these applications have emerged as commercial software products focused on individual regulatory issues. As a consequence, a proliferation of commercial, point solution software 40 Federal Facilities Environmental Journal/Spring 1996 GlS for lntegrating Environmental Site Remediation and Compliance lnformation H- Another direction for the PC user community deals directly wi th database management. has become available applying a variety of software tools, but there are very few attempts at integrated systems that address the full spectrum of EH&S requirements. In addition, many corporations and government agencies have developed in-house systems to support these same re- quirements. These are typically nonintegrated systems having the same characteristics as commercially available software. These difficulties have given rise to the need for information sharing among distributed users and diverse organizational entities within the same enterprise. System integration via networks and the movement toward open sys- tems that facilitate information sharing have become the direction of the information technology industry. During the 1980s, CAD software gained popularity and experienced a number of environmental applications, particularly associated with site investigations. CAD provides vector drawings having data content embodied in graphical representations. GIS provides intelligence to the drawing through links to database tables that relate to the drawing. As GIS technology emerged, it likewise began to be applied to environmen- tal site investigations. During the 1990s, specialized software has been developed to integrate databases with CAD files for site investigations. Further developments have included data visualization software that has been derived from defense/military applications and from medical visualization technology. These sys tems, which apply high-end UNIX workstations because of the need for large-scale transfer of 3-D graphics, continue to outpace the lower-end Intel-based PC evolution. Early PC applications based on DOS have given way to Microsoft Windows as the preferred user interface. DECWindows, X-Windows, Motif, OS/2, and Macintosh GUI approaches have captured the user community and have become the acceptable standards for interfacing with software and data. GIS affords another level of enhancement through the intuitive interaction with spatial objects representing facility features. Linking these objects to a relational database structure and to other functions facilitates navigation and analysis and promotes a broader and more quickly trained user base. Another direction for the PC user community deals directly with database management. In a stand-alone mode, problems of accessibility and currency were experienced, moving PC users from the individual desktop to servers providing access to a common database by multiple users. Concurrent access and maintenance of the database and network delays resulting from this approach have been addressed through the application of distributed databases maintained at various locations in the network and through client-server database architecture to facilitate database access and maintenance, reduce network traffic, and increase response time. Proprietary software has long been a standard in the computer industry and has been a means whereby hardware vendors have main- tained market share. The movement to industry standards and to open systems has been driven by a market that now resists such constraints due to the need for LAN and WAN networking and data-sharing Federal Facilities Environmental Journal/Spring 1996 41 lzak Maitin An important evolution is the addition of intelligence to documents. requirements. This is particularly true in the DBMS arena where SQL (structured query language) technology has been a leader in the move- ment toward system integration and data sharing. The market is de- manding that software applications be capable of accessing any of the preferred commercial database software systems, forcing vendors to provide acceptable interfaces and creating a demand for front-end software that is DBMS independent. Word processing has provided a productive means for creating and revising documents but has limits in accessing and moving documents among authors and users over LANs and WANs. An important evolu- tion is the addition of intelligence to documents, in which embedded objects and text enrichment provide a means for facilitating navigation within and among documents. This concept is illustrated in Exhibit 3, where navigation from document text to tables, figures, or other sections can be achieved through point-and-click on the enriched document elements. Moreover, multi-user software, called Groupware, provides a means for efficient creation and utilization of documents for a distrib- uted user community over LAN and WAN connections (Exhibit 4). Imaging has emerged as an information technology for storage, access, and use of text documents, photographs, drawings, and other graphics in image format. Images are unintelligent graphical represen- tations designed for reading and viewing access, such as figures, photo- graphs, text documents, or photo overlays to vector drawings. Images also offer valuable detailed information that cannot easily be repre- sented by points or lines, and they can be used to classify information through color and shading. Images offer visual appeal and ease in creation via scanning at the expense of large storage requirements and can be an important component of an overall ES&H information system. Spatial relationships are inherent to environmental data, providing a natural basis for applying GIS and for using maps and drawings as the basic interface elements between the data and the user. The use of object- based GIS technology in conjunction with SQL DBMS applications provides an effective means for strong integration, and for achieving intuitive access to information and generating tabular and graphical information products quickly and easily. The future of ES&H systems can be realized through this approach, both for site investigations and for management of compliance requirements. TWO ENVIRONMENTAL MISSIONS- COMPLIANCE AND REMEDIATION Environmental regulations impose two distinct missions on indus- trial enterprises: to comply with existing regulations and to remediate sites that have been contaminated by past practices. Information man- agement requirements are likewise associated with these two areas. Compliance issues typically deal with regulatory reporting for items such as emissions, incidents (spills, discharges, accidents), and hazard- ous materials. Database management software is used to store informa- tion required to produce government-mandated reports, which are 42 Federal Facilities Environmental Journal/Spring 1996 GlS for lntegrating Environmental Site Remediation and Compliance lnforrnation Exhibit 3. Electronic Document Enrichment: Navigating through Text, Data, and Images Table of Contents 7. Introduction 3. Test Procedures 4. Responsibilities t 2. Emissions 5. Processes emissions are . . . The allowable emission levels are listed in Table 2.2, where. . . Equip Chem Value . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . b 2. Emissions Emissions from , compressors must be . . . Equipment types are described in t Equipment having the following . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Process ABC is illustrated in - Figure 16 . . . 63 Process ABC Y V Figure 16 typically related to a specific industrial or commercial facility. Reports are prepared and submitted to EPA or to state agencies, and software systems are intended to reduce the labor effort required to complete the report preparation. Some software systems produce formatted reports directly, while others supply information that is transcribed to the report during word processing. In some instances, provisions for delivery of electronic reports are made, similar to those for electronic submission of income tax forms. Compliance reporting is generally handled by environmental staff located at plant facilities and responsible to an environmental manager at the facility. Many EH&S staff have developed spreadsheets or simpli- fied database techniques to manage the required data, or they may have acquired a commercial software product to address their needs. In some instances, corporate MIS and EH&S managers develop or acquire a system for enterprise-wide application. More recently, there has been an Federal Facilities Environmental Journal/Spring 1996 43 lzak Maitin Exhibit 4. Groupware for Document Preparation Chicago San Francisco New York Atlanta emphasis on the technology aspects of such applications (GUI, Win- dows, SQL, client-server, open architecture) and not simply on the functionality (meeting the regulatory need). In addition, there has been a tendency to consider comprehensive systems addressing the full EH&S requirements, rather than a point solution focused on a single regulation. However, pressures associated with regulatory reporting sometimes result in selection of individual systems for purely economic reasons (low-cost point solutions) and because of the general lack of comprehensive system capabilities that can address all regulatory de- mands. Site remediation issues are concerned with establishing a site-wide database that stores all of the relevant technical data and provides a central source of information to be used by scientists and engineers in conducting remedial investigations and remedial design studies. Large quantities of data are typical to such investigations, which include: 44 Federal Facilities Environmental JournalISpring 1996 GIS for lntegrating Environmental Site Remediation and Compliance lnforrnation CAD and GIS site mapping techniques have become common applications in carrying out site investigations. chemical analyses for soil, sediments, and water; geophysical measure- ments; soil stratigraphy; groundwater elevations; topography; and asso- ciated site maps and drawings. Preserving the spatial integrity of the data through association with discrete sampling locations is an impor- tant requirement of such investigations. This is necessary to assure accurate representation of the information in graphical format (maps, cross-sections, 3-D views) for visualization by technical and manage- ment staff. CAD and GIS site mapping techniques have become common appli- cations in carrying out site investigations. However, database linkages to drawings are not always efficient, and movement of data from the field and from contractor laboratories into the database often requires a number of manual steps and inconsistent procedures. Moreover, the status of the data, particularly the chemical analyses, is not usually visible to the site investigation project manager. SITE INVESTIGATION DATA MANAGEMENT two data types that should be addressed: In designing a system for site investigation and compliance, there are spatial data-objects and phenomena defined as a function of space and location; and nonspatial data-tabular data without coordinates or locational information. GIS Issues Creating a relationship between these two types of data allows the user to represent tabular information in a graphical environment. Data may be compared over space, over time, or across themes. Environmen- tal site investigation differs from the typical use of GIS in its requirement for a well-developed, relational database system. Traditional GIS con- centrates on spatial data sets interfacing with less complex nonspatial data sets. A site investigation database emphasizes numerous, robust nonspatial data sets linked to a limited number of coverages. These coverages are used as intelligent base maps for reference-exploiting live data links rather than manipulating and combining static data sets. New spatial data sets are derived from the tabular data. While many of these coverages become part of the database and are used as they might be in a traditional GIs, they are constantly revised as new data become available. The numerous data types to be integrated in a site investigation include spatial data, chemical data, geological data, geophysical data, groundwater data, and well construction data. Integration of these components and the ability to exploit the relationships between them have been realized through modern data management practices and geographic information systems. Comprehensive data management is key to successful integration of environmental site data within both GIS and other visualization tech- ~~ Federal Facilities Environmental Journal/Spring 1996 45 lzak Maitin The data manager must understand the origin of the data, the process the data undergoes before delive y, and the anticipated uses of the data. nologies. The adopted database structure must facilitate not only the incorporation of environmental data, but also the ability to extract data for review and analysis. A well-established method for identifying the various types of data for inclusion, exclusion, and comparison is critical. This relates as much to hard-copy reports as it does to visualization and analysis through the use of a GIs. Many individuals have worked with data structures that seem adequate for storing data but have little flexibility in the area of data retrieval. If all possible data aberrations are not considered and the database structure fails to consider the complex- ity of the data collected, many hours will be spent attempting to extract data froma system through nonstandard means. Similarly, all data must retain their completeness and integrity. Records should be accepted and placed in a site investigation system only if they have all of the required fields and can be verified with the correct naming conventions. These fields and naming conventions will act as record keys establishing uniqueness for each piece of datum. Due to the massive amounts of data generated and the short time frame in which data collection takes place, errors must be corrected soon after they occur or the correction effort can cause serious delays in data reporting and in the creation of thematic maps, isopleths, cross-sections, and other graphical information prod- ucts. Chemical Data Because chemical data volumes dominate the database, they must receive special attention in a site investigation. Management of the site chemistry component of the database could qualify as a major project of its own. Eventually, these data must be merged with geological and geo- technical data to provide guidance in assessing the environmental condi- tions at a site. Chemical data can range widely in complexity. It may consist of a limited set of contaminants analyzed by a single laboratory or multiple sets of contaminants analyzed by numerous laboratories using various analytical methods. It may also include field analytical results produced by mobile field "mini-labs" for site screening. In approaching a site investigation, the data manager must under- stand the origin of the data, the process the data undergoes before delivery, and the anticipated uses of the data. It is important to know what data are expected and how they will be applied. To meet this requirement, data tracking is a necessary component of the data manage- ment system. Traditionally, data tracking has been performed manually or with simple word-processing or spreadsheet software. However, the use of an automated system applying database management technology for tracking chemical results provides the data manager and the project manager with an important management resource. Chemical analyses can be tracked effectively to the record level (each sample and each analyte in that sample) in this manner. Status of samples can then be reported at all phases of the data-handling process: work plan samples/analyses planned; 46 Federal Facilities Environmental Journal/Spring 2 996 GIS for Integrating Environmental Site Remediation and Compliance Information field samples collected; laboratory samples/analyses received; and samples/analyses stored in the site investigation database. By having a consistent understanding of the status of data through each of these steps for each sample, it is possible to identify missing samples or chemical records early and achieve timely recovery of lost data. The sample tracking system can be a stand-alone database or, more effectively, it can be incorporated into the site investigation data man- agement system. Geological Data The approaches taken for management of geological data are highly variable. Many factors influence the successful incorporation of geologi- cal data into a database. These same factors will later influence the extraction of these data from the database to produce information products. A comprehensive database structure will combine rigid ele- ments with other elements that allow flexibility. For visualization pur- poses, data must be quantified and classified using standard conven- tions in certain key fields (e.g., color, stratigraphy code). This will allow records to be interpreted for graphical representation, to be used within a GIs, and to be integrated with other systems. On the other hand, the system should have the flexibility to accept interpreted qualitative data that can provide an understanding of site conditions where classifica- tions are not sensitive enough to represent accurately the conditions at a location. While such data cannot be used to create visual tools such as maps they may be incorporated as text, thereby augmenting the value of such information products. Close coordination between the data manager and the project geolo- gist and field personnel is absolutely required. Without such coordina- tion, the geological database loses integrity and has almost no chance for successful utilization. The requirements for the geologist to understand a site and for the database administrator to produce a viable database are quite different. A great deal of the geological data collected are based on interpretation. Usually more than one geologist will work on a particular site. This becomes an issue of concern in codifying geological data. Standards are necessary so that all field personnel apply an accepted data coding scheme. Supporting information such as depths, lengths, and weights must be collected in a consistent fashion. Certain conven- tions such as labeling of intervals (e.g., 1,2,3, or A, B, C, or 05-10,10-15, 15-20) and codes for the type of observation (e.g., color, odor, soil class) have to be understood and agreed on before any data are collected. When this does not occur, data will have to be recoded before they can be compared and viewed in a graphical format. Field coordination and cooperation will aid in creating a useful and valuable site investigation database. It must be conveyed that all parties have a vested interest in the success, usefulness, and utility of the database. Planning efforts and discussions should take place early in the Jii me management o fgeo~og ica~ data are highly taken for Federal Facilities Environmental Journal/Spring 1996 47 lzak Maitin Historical data can provide a view of site contamination over time. 48 project so that all parties understand and support a common goal. Such a goal will guide the activities of all parties toward a common direction. The database will thereby become an indispensable tool rather than an afterthought to the same individuals who are responsible for the collec- tion of field data. The degree to which data can be extracted, mapped, visualized, and compared without exhaustive manual efforts is a func- tion of planning and adherence to agreed-upon standards that are established early in the project. Base Maps An accurate base map detailing planimetric features is critical to data analysis and interpretation. All future data will be fit to this data set. Similarly, a data set representing topography becomes integral to mod- eling efforts and a comprehensive understanding of the site. Numerous derivative data sets will be registered to this master data set. Errors that occur at the point of establishing the project base map will be carried through all subsequent data sets. It will be necessary to redo all work that has been based on incorrect locational and spatial data. It is preferable that a base map be prepared using an aerial survey having photogram- metric capabilities for producing accurate site representation in the preferred coordinate system. A base map prepared in this manner will provide current features at a level of accuracy specifically chosen for a particular site investigation. It must be understood, however, that many site investigations depend on aging, hard-copy maps or drawing files for a variety of reasons. While it may be necessary to resort to the use of these less preferable alternatives, it becomes necessary for the data manager to communicate to the project manager the impact of this condition on the accuracy of graphical data representations. Historical Data Another aspect of the site investigation data management process relates to the inclusion of historical data, which may have been collected and stored using different standards and database techniques. Historical data can provide a view of site contamination over time. Analyzing differences between dates exposes trends and allows a site investigator to make observations that may affect site cleanup. When historical data are to be included in a site investigation, they must be registered to the master base map. Data may be received in tabular format from hard- copy reports, on diskettes as ASCII files, spreadsheets, or database files, and as spatial representation to a historic base map. Spatial data sets relating to historical site locations will have to be registered to the master base map before meaningful comparisons of past and present chemical or geological data can be made. All data, current and historical, must be linked to the base map. It is required that these links be established before any derivative data set can be produced. Linked features will serve as coordinate locations for posting data and as points for interpolation when creating groundwater surface maps, chemical concentration isopleths, and soil maps. A strong Federal Facilities Environmental Journal/Spring 1996 GlS for lntegrating Environmental Site Remediation and Compliance Informafion relational database structure and an intelligent base map will allow numerous observations per location quickly and efficiently. For ex- ample, a single location may have several intervals at which it was sampled. Likewise, a single interval may be analyzed for a hundred different compounds. The possibilities for exploring a site through data depend on the limitations imposed by both the spatial and nonspatial data management systems. Careful planning, coordination, and data quality checks will ensure that the systems are compatible, that data are unique, and that any piece of datum is viewed accurately in a spatial context. In combination, a powerful new system emerges, capable of comprehensively reviewing, analyzing, and comparing hundreds of different scenarios to integrate the site as a whole and provide the investigation team with a solid understanding of site conditions. Data Management Plan It is evident that the requirements for handling all of the above information types require that an overall plan be implemented by the project manager to describe the data management process that will be used by the project team. The contents of the plan should describe the responsibilities, data structure, and flow of information among the project participants. Exhibit 5 is representative of a data structure for site investigations that has been extracted from a data management plan. The entities in the figure are table identities and key fields in each table that permit access to data in the site investigation database. Access to the database is achieved through interaction with screens representing each of the identified tables. A database table structure diagram such as this is an essential component of the data management plan. It communicates to the project team the manner in which data are stored and the impor- tance of the key fields and their roles in accessing data. Responsibilities and procedures are best communicated with a flow diagram. Exhibit 6 has been extracted from a data management plan to illustrate this point. The shaded boxes identify the roles of the project manager, laboratory data administrator, data administrator, field scien- tists, contractors, and system users. The data files to be exchanged and the reports to be produced are also identified. A planning session in which this process is reviewed, explained, and perhaps modified would be conducted while preparing the work plan for the project to include the accepted data flow procedures in the data management plan. JH- A database table structure diagram such as this is an essential component of the data management plan. GIS AND FM-ENVIRONMENTAL APPLICATIONS GIS technology has been applied to provide visibility into environ- mental issues related to large geographic areas through the use of overlays to identify exclusion areas or preferred areas for facility siting, right-of-way alignment, or impact of infrastructure expansion on bio- logical species or archaeological sites. This layer orientation is well- suited to this application and has been a productive tool for this purpose. Industrial and government organizations faced with compliance or remediation issues are faced with a different need in the GIS/FM Federal Facilities Environmental Journal/Spring 1996 49 Exhibit 5. Site Investigation Database Structure 1 Suppolt Tables 41 No ScreenNo Screen ~1 ~ SftJD I I I Detail Detail I Detail Detail 3.2.1 A No Screen Detail mm. a Exhibit 6. Site Investigation Data Management Process Work Plan and 4la QAPP I Chemistry I Geology I Well Const. Data File J 7-1 t "1 I Files 1 9b Data Status Reports Laboratory FAST Field DataParameter Schedule/Status Dates/Quantities Record Counts Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . t t I Expected Record Count 19 Actual Records ReceivedValidated Filei4' Actual Data I RtErt I I 'ZT 1 ' I t Report 16a Data Loadinq I & I ReportdStatistics EDGE/GDS ARC/lnfo QA Systems Surfer AutoCAD EXCEL Visualization System Map Info FoxPro Stratifact ARC/CAD Izak Maifin spectrum, one that leans more toward the FM side. This concept is illustrated in Exhibit 7. It is evident that the equipment, utilities, roads, and facilities that are of concern to operations and maintenance manag- ers are also of concern to environmental managers, but for different purposes. Sharing in the use of the common facilities drawings and creating data structures that can meet both needs can be productive steps in an organization's information development strategy. SYSTEM INTEGRATION-BROADER VIEW GIS/FM can provide an important integration platform around which an organization can direct its information access procedures. By adding intelligence to CAD drawings, object interfaces between these drawings and database tables, documents, images, and photographs can be developed. These provide a means for access to and navigation through information in an intuitive manner. Using this as a basis, it becomes evident that effective integration is not simply linking systems and databases, but also incorporating inte- gration of corporate vision, direction, roles, responsibilities, and atti- tudes. There are lots of players in the organization who have interest in the information and in the technologies for accessing it. From the Exhibit 7. GISEM Application to Environmental Missions Compliance Remediation Regulatory Reporting Emissions, Discharges Events, Chemicals, Audits Site Remediation Sample Locations, Waste Sites, Wells, Stratigraphy, Topography, Groundwater 52 Federal Facilities Environmental Journal/Spring 1996 GIS for Integrating Environmental Site Remediation and Compliance Information standpoint of EH&S organizations, it is necessary to identify: the existing technologies that are available; the information types and the current systems in which they reside; and the organizational entities that are the caretakers of each information component. This can be achieved through a structured survey of the organiza- tional components and a summary of available systems and resources. This requires the cooperation of many organizational entities, and it may need sponsorship of sufficient seniority to assure that such cooperation is obtained. Integration at the organizational level is not always readily achievable, and resistance may be expected at this stage. However, the benefits to the organization as a whole will outweigh the pain that may be experienced during this phase of the process. ENVIRONMENTAL GIS/FM-PROTOTYPE SYSTEM INTEGRATION An environmental GIS/FM prototyping activity has been conducted to illustrate the functionality that can be achieved through the integra- tion of various available data types within the context of an object-based GIS platform. The concept is illustrated in Exhibit 8, which relates various environmental data types to a facility drawing. Drill-down, a concept used in database navigation, can be achieved in a graphical context, as illustrated in the exhibit. Navigation to site data is attained through combined selections from menus to select functionality and from drawing objects to select specific spatially located information. For example, a data element relating to locations on a facility might be obtained in a number of ways: l-- Drill-down, a concept used in database navigation, can be achieved in a graphical context. selecting the facility, designated as a simple square or circle on an area map, by pointing; selecting a report or database table type from a menu and linking it to the facility by pointing; selecting a more detailed drawing (building or process diagram), or a photograph or document relating to a portion of the facility, by pointing at a building or location on the facility; selecting a chemical inventory report by pointing at a specific room in a building on the facility drawing; spawning a database table for an emission point identified on a process diagram; spawning tables describing chemical concentrations for a sampling location or groundwater elevations for a well location; producing critical path schedules for a selected site, or bar graphs for costs associated with a specific work breakdown structure for sites on the facility by pointing at the sites and selecting a graph type from the menu; or Federal Facilities Environmental Journal/Spring 1996 53 Exhibit 8. Object-Based GISEM for Environmental System Integration WS # - Waste Sites BLDG# - Buildinas Site Data Wastewater DischargeGIS for Integrating Environmental Site Remediation and Compliance Information screening facilities on a base map or sites on a facility drawing to identify (by color code) those falling within selected cost or budget thresholds. A prototype system called EDGE has been developed to incorporate these capabilities. EDGE has integrated the following resources: 0 0 0 VAX Workstation running VMS/DEC Windows gds object-based GIS Oracle DBMS SQL Graph, SQL Forms ENFLEX DATA Environmental Compliance Software Applica- tion running under the FOCUS DBMS CDA Viewer, a Digital imaging product Soft PC Microsoft Project This integrated environmental application runs on the VAX 3100/76 in a stand-alone workstation environment. To expand accessibility to the system, remote access has been provided in a network environment, further integrating additional resources, including: Ethernet Network-for PC to VAX interface EXODUSX-Windows terminal emulator for PC access to EDGE Macintosh PC or Intel/DOS PC access to the VAX EXCEL for data creation and analysis of data in the database Quickmail for transfer of EXCEL files IN- mese resou,.ces provide access t o the VAXStation functions from remote locations in traditional time-shared environment. Pathworks Network Manager Appletalk for Macintosh network These resources provide access to the VAXStation functions from remote locations in traditional time-shared environment. Users can access the database for upload and download in Oracle via modem from the site. This facilitates electronic access to information products pro- duced by a centralized group managing environmental data. In addi- tion, the network provides additional capabilities, including: transfer of data files from spreadsheets to the VAX for import into environmental database tables transfer of AutoCAD drawing files in DXF format for import into EDGE. EDGE has been extended to a version 2 prototype in which addi- tional capabilities for environmental support have been added to pro- vide access to documents and regulations. This has been achieved by integrating the following information system resources: Microsoft Windows Lotus Notes Groupware for group document creation Federal Facilities Environmental Journal/Spring 1996 55 lzak Maitin EMpower Controlled Document Creation/ Access Software running under ToolBook with Multimedia ENFLEX INFO Full-text Environmental Regulations running under ROMWare These resources provide the following capabilities: PC access to environmental regulations under Microsoft Windows Controlled access to completed, enriched-text documents and navigation through documents containing photographs, tables, and drawings with object-imbedding Animation of selected document contents Creation of documents (environmental policy and procedures, status of document development, schedule calendar) in a group- shared environment over the network Group creation and tracking of documents 0 Visual and audio glossary Access to ES&H regulations The prototype integration is illustrated in Exhibit 9, which is called EDGE Version 2, an extension of the VAXStation based EDGE. This prototype incorporates X-Windows access to the VAX-based (gds) GIS components from the PC and integrates the remaining PC components JH- Rapid developments in information technology under Microsoft Windows. provide continuing opportunities for enhancing system functionality. STRUCTURED EVOLUTION Rapid developments in information technology provide continuing opportunities for enhancing system functionality and for improving the integration architecture through consolidation of functions under fewer software components and with simpler data exchange protocols. The integration steps that have produced the EDGE Version 2 prototype have been based on available technology and a policy of maintaining an economical evolution to newer technology. In-place systems in most organizations cannot be discarded quickly, nor should they be. Rather, it is preferable to develop an evolution plan that preserves the value of existing data and systems while taking advantage of the efficiencies and cost savings that are possible with newer informa- tion technologies. Building a new EDGE prototype today would cer- tainly follow a different path from that which was available a few years ago when the effort was initiated. Examining the components of EDGE, it is evident that much of the functionality is now fully available within the capacity of PCs and can now be integrated in a common Microsoft Windows environment. The next step could follow one of two paths: convert the prototype software to a PC environment by integrating a number of low-end PC GIS and DBMS tools and other software tools that were not available earlier; or 56 Federal Facilities Environmental JournallSpring 1996 Exhibit 9. Integrated FM/GIS Environmental Information Management System Exodus Z5-L PathworksI AredRegional Maps Images I Facility Drawings Site Investigation Building Drawings Database Process Flow Diagrams Cost Database Photographs Schedules lzak Maitin port the existing EDGE software primary components (gds/ Oracle) to a Pentium PC under the emerging capabilities of Windows NT. Because of the ever-increasing capacities of workstations (Alpha, HP, Sun, SGI) with regard to GIS applications, particularly for the important visualization functionality that is becoming more widely used in support of site investigations, workstation compatibility should be a component of the integration strategy. For that reason, it is likely that the migration via Windows NT is a more likely path for the evolution. Most of the integration can be achieved in a simpler PC configuration, while maintaining a clean access to the functionality from a networked workstation for larger data sets and for the more powerful modeling and graphics displays that are inherent to site investigation and remediation. *:* 58 Federal Facilities Environmental Journal/Spring 1996


View more >