Data Capture of Federal Lands in the District of Columbia

New Light Technologies and DC GIS have just completed a 3 year effort to capture the locations and dimensions of all of the Federal Reservations in the District of Columbia. These federal lands are the final significant data set within DC GISs Vector Property Map to be captured. The Vector Property Map is a database that contains all of the properties in the District of Columbia, in vector format. The federal reservations line work remained uncollected until this project, because much of the federal property in the District was not well documented, or the documentation of the precise dimensions of the land was spread across a number of source documents.

To complete the work, a team was assembled that included a senior analyst to serve as project manager and SDE administrator along with two GIS analysts responsible for data research, collection, and attribution. The data was captured using ArcGIS 9.3s advanced editing toolset and COGO toolset, using a disconnected SDE database architecture. The data capture of the reservations involved researching all the source documents connected with the reservations, creating the new line work and then aligning the new line work with the already existing line work inside the Vector Property Map.

Now that the 1150 active and inactive reservations within the District have been captured, there is a single data set for any person, company or agency that needs to know the exact size and location of a federal reservation. The detailed data set that this project produced allows The National Park Service and the DC Government to take a much more accurate inventory of all of their land holdings. The new data set highlights what areas are well documented and what portions of the federal reservations require additional research and surveying. Because of the extensive research and data collection that was performed during the course of this project, it will now be easier for the DC Government and the Federal Government to transfer lands between each other, and for private citizens, who own property that borders a federal reservation, to research and resolve property disputes and inquiries.

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