2017 Excellence in GIS Award Winner – State or Federal Agency

Excellence in GIS – State or Federal Agency – Health & Safety

Indiana Low Head Dam survey project

With varying information requirements, DNR had three separate lists for low head dams (LHDs), and other agencies had their own lists. Not all used geolocations or used the same names for the dams. Geolocating and assigning appropriate, verified attribute data to all LHDs in a single shared dataset was imperative to: understand and communicate safety risks to boaters/swimmers; determine best practices for risk mitigation and rescue scenarios at each individual LHD; conduct research on LHDs effects on the streams’ ecological balance; and study and identify cost/benefit of removing, repairing, or leaving certain LHDs.

Information on low head dam locations (best estimates, in some cases) were consolidated from multiple sources and converted into a single GIS dataset in DNR’s enterprise geodatabase. Critical attribute fields needed by DNR Divisions of Law Enforcement (DLE) and DNR Water (DOW) were added. Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) reviewed the list and corrected names and other information. The data were published as a secure web feature service and added to a webmap in DNR’s ArcGIS Online for Organization’s site (InDNRMaps).

This database is now being used by DOW to help identify and rank LHDs for removal based on safety mitigation and economic impacts; by DFW to rank ecological impacts of LHDs; and is available to DLE officers and staff to review safety risks associated with LHDs .  Silver Jackets and USGS are using this dataset in ongoing safety education and mitigation program.

Mike Martin, Agency GIS Coordinator, Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR)

Bob Wilkinson, DNR Division of Water

Captain Keith Dinn, DNR Division of Law Enforcement

Scott Salmon, DNR Division of Fish and Wildlife

Traci Powell, DNR Division of Water


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