Geographic Information System 

A Geographic Information System, more commonly referred to as a GIS, is often thought of by members outside of the GIS community as a process used to produce maps. According to Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI), GIS is defined as a collection of software, hardware, and geographic data that work together to capture, manage, analyze, and display data sets that have been referenced to spatial coordinates on the Earth’s surface. Spatial (GIS) data is grouped and organized by feature into homogenous data layers such as land use, topography, hydrography, natural features, infrastructure, or imagery. Because all of the data layers are referenced to a spatial location on the earth’s surface, they can be superimposed on one another using GIS software. This makes it possible to use the database to analyze the effects of these features on economic, demographic, and social dynamics. Therefore, while GIS is an efficient mapmaking tool, the real power of GIS lies in its analytical capabilities. 

It is these capabilities that make GIS one of the most powerful tools Kleinschmidt possesses in terms of data management and analysis. In nearly all of our disciplines, GIS is used as a tool by scientists, engineers, and planners to complete projects more efficiently and make the results more meaningful. Our Regulatory Team manages a multitude of data over a many year process to manage and prepare licensing and permitting documents by studying environmental and engineering concerns for stakeholder, local, state, and federal agencies. Kleinschmidt’s Marine Renewables Team relies on GIS for site selection, least cost transmission paths, and analysis by cost benefit. We utilize GIS in our Ecological Sciences Teams to analyze the effects of effluent discharge thermal plumes on fish habitat and to prepare watershed management and habitat recovery plans by assessing the ecological health of the systems and comparing those with the optimum conditions. Kleinschmidt’s most prolific use of GIS analysis is with our Water Resource Engineering services by providing spatial analyses for dam breaches, coastal flooding assessments, bathymetric modeling, supply and demand analyses, storm water Best Management Practice (BMP) retrofitting, physically based unit hydrograph development, non-point source pollution assessment, and distributed hydrologic modeling. 

Kleinschmidt brings together a multidisciplinary staff with experience across a wide range of projects. The projects include the creation of Exhibit G drawings that meet the FERC’s requirements, shoreline management and watershed management plans, habitat and natural resource mapping, invasive species mapping, hydraulic modeling, and storm water modeling. From the creation of a simple figure to a set of complex analyses on multiple variables, GIS allows complex tasks to be completed efficiently with dramatic results. The projects listed here are only a small sampling of the range of work here at Kleinschmidt that incorporate GIS.



Water Resource Projects