Sunday, September 23, 2007

Texas River Information Management System (TRIMS)

Attended a demonstration of the new Texas River Information Management System (TRIMS) in early September at the Ellison Miles Geotechnology Institute (located in Farmers Branch, TX on the Brookhaven College campus). TRIMS went live in late August.

This ArcGIS Server driven web mapping application is a fantastic resource for us here in the Trinity River Basin (North-Central, Central, and into Eastern Texas).

Features from the demonstration invite:
  1. Access to over 30 spatial layers including aerial photography, streams and rivers,reservoirs, 2000 census data, elevation, political districts, USGS topographic maps, groundwater, boundaries, dischargers, water quality sampling sites, and roads
  2. Metadata for each layer
  3. Ability to measure length and area and create graphics
Here is a list of the layers included.

We discussed two primary uses for the interactive website. First, as a tool for landowners to manage natural resources. Second, as an educational tool to be used in the K-12 and college classroom. There is no doubt that the ease of use and thorough content in TRIMS will serve both of these purposes. I shared this resource with our science & engineering librarians, and we have been pushing this resource to our non-GIS savvy students. As all of the data is derived from public resources, we have access to all of the information available through TRIMS in GIS format, or in formats that can be incorporated into a GIS. We are planning a workshop next Spring semester targeting our education faculty and students, and this is one of the key resources I plan on showcasing to them.

One fantastic feature I want to point out is the live steam gauge data. Using the site ID number, clicking on any gauge will create a link directly to the USGS real time water data. For example the map on the left, the gauge at the Clear Fork of the Trinity River in Fort Worth links out to the following real-time water data. This is a great example of what is most great about this site. The way it brings together numerous public data sources into one user-friendly interface. Yes, as the Map Explorer points out, some folks will complain that it is not as easy to use as Google mapping products, but this is because of the 30 spatial layers and the great markup ability included in ArcGIS Server.

This is a great resource that I look forward to promoting as often as I can.

Some background info about TRIMS:
As part of Governor Perry’s Trinity River Basin Environmental Restoration Initiative, the Trinity River Authority’s Clean River Program in cooperation with TCEQ has funded the Trinity River Information Management System (TRIMS) through Texas A&M University’s Institute of Renewable Natural Resources.

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