Bureau of Land Management's Cultural Resource Database Goes Digital (ArcNews Online)

Recording cultural resources on federal lands has always been a tedious enterprise. Cultural sites have been recorded for some time on hand-drawn maps using x,y coordinates from GPS data. In most offices, detailed site records were stored in one place and location maps in another. Often, data was lost in the process of report research when files were put back in the wrong place. Even worse, when snap decisions had to be made, such as in the case of fire emergencies, it took far too long to look up the pertinent data. What was needed was to get all of this data in one place for easy reference.

That time has arrived. The United States Bureau of Land Management (BLM) cultural resource database has gone digital. Kirk Halford at the Bishop, California, field office, in collaboration with Gnoman International, has developed a cultural GIS database tool for use within ArcGIS Desktop. The tool enables cultural resource managers to easily digitize hand-plotted survey and site locations for cultural resources. The tool also lets users copy previously existing GIS data into the resource database. Finally, the software allows for the attachment of metadata collected from site records and field-recorded information.

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