One of SHA’s core goals is to strategically plan and manage our natural resources and open spaces in ways that will benefit our ecosystems and our communities for generations to come. SHA is harnessing the power of digital technology to help us meet our environmental commitments.
SHA, together with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Texas Department of Transportation and the Conservation Fund, designed a tool that couples a Geographic Information System (GIS) with an advanced analysis technique (Green Infrastructure Assessment). The tool allows planners and designers to identify ecologically important areas – watersheds, forests and critical wildlife passageways, for instance – that may be threatened by future development.
The GIS/Green Infrastructure tool is part of an enterprise GIS (eGIS) that SHA is developing to better inform our decisions about how and where to build roadway networks. At its heart, eGIS is a base map over which multiple data sets can be layered. Data can include things like population density, traffic patterns, existing structures, and traffic signal locations. Taken together, this mapped data provides our engineers, planners and designers with a very clear picture of what is happening in a particular area of the state.