Conversion of historical data to GIS format for Grand Calumet feasibility study

Status Start Date End Date Locations
completed Jan 1, 1950 Nov 30, 2005 Lake
Director: Chris Dintaman
Other Researchers: Sally Letsinger, Sally L. Letsinger and
Funding: Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM)
Issue: The ongoing Grand Calumet feasibility study, being conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, is using all available information to devise an effective methodology for remediating a very contaminated area of northern Indiana. Data that would be useful in their analysis was stored on paper and acetates and was not in a format that could be used for computer analysis.
Objective: The objective of the work was to convert the hard-copy information to a digital geographic information system (GIS) format.
Approach: Four volumes of data (layers, photos, and acetates) were converted into geospatial digital data. The areas covered in the study are the watersheds for the Grand Calumet River, the Indiana Harbor Ship Canal, and Indiana Harbor.

Five years of aerial photographs (205 photos) were scanned and georeferenced. For each photo, two classified overlay layers were developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These layers, originally hand drawn on acetate, were converted to digital format.
Products: All four EPA volumes of historical aerial photographs have been scanned and georeferenced for the use of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. The landuse and waste layers for all volumes have also been georeferenced and vectorized.
Benefits: The EPA volumes contained valuable information in hard copy format, and the conversion to digital GIS format will allow workers to better use this information in the ongoing Grand Calumet Feasibility Study.