Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has become an essential tool for cultural resource managers over the past decade. Much of the work we do as cultural resource professionals is intrinsically linked to the spatial dimension of human behavior, both present and past. Whether for advance planning, avoidance, or mitigation, a quantifiable understanding of place is essential to an efficient handling of the compliance process.
WCRM offers its clients extensive GIS support services through our GIS and Computer Aided Design (CAD) resources in Sparks, Nevada and Farmington, New Mexico. Our staff is fully trained in ArcGIS Version 10.1 and AutoCad 3D 2013. Field data collection is expedited through the use of handheld GPS, primarily Trimble sub-meter GPS units and handheld/mobile computers.
Typical GIS projects and project deliverables completed by WCRM include:
- Overlaying client Plan of Operations on cultural resources to identify potential intersections
- Identifying corridors that provide avoidance of sensitive resources
- Viewshed analyses
- Predictive models of archaeological site location
These efforts can result in substantial cost saving to our clients by providing both clients and regulatory agencies the best available data to use in the consultation process. Likewise, if implemented early in the planning process, such studies can help our clients avoid unnecessary expenditures by avoiding areas where cultural resources issues might make their project prohibitively expensive. Our ability to quickly turn data into actionable intelligence saves clients not only money, but also time, allowing projects to keep moving forward. Finally, since many agencies and our clientele use GIS; the exchange of shapefiles and/or CAD files expedites many facets of project planning and implementation.