University of Texas at El Paso
Pan American Center for Earth and Environmental Studies
PACES GIS Research    

Geographic Information System

   The Geographic Information System (GIS) at PACES contains a large variety of raw data and information for use by the geoscience community. The raw data and compiled GIS information maintained by the PACES staff is in a variety data formats and coordinate systems.

   In order to make sense of the large amount of data gathered over the years, much of the information has been separated into 8 different thematic categories. These categories are as follows: 1) boundaries, 2) cadastral, 3) elevation, 4) geodetic, 5) geology, 6) hydrography, 7) orthoimages, and 8) transportation. The boundaries category includes data on political and geographic boundaries. The cadastral category includes data on land ownership. The geodetic category includes data on geodetic control. The geology category contains data current digital surface geologic maps. The hydrography category contains data of surface water features. The orthoimages category contains scanned base-maps, aerial photography, and landsat images that have been georeferenced. The transportation category contains data on roads and other transportation network. Within each of the thematic categories there is another division based on geographic area. Each geographic area is then divided based on geographic extent or scale. For example: the Texas statewide county GIS dataset would be located in the Boundaries/Texas/State/ subdirectory and would be called "counties.e00." The FGDC metadata file would be located in the same directory and called "counties.txt."

1 - Boundaries
2 - Cadastral
3 - Elevation
4 - Geodetic
5 - Geology
6 - Hydrography
7 - Orthoimages
A. - Digital Raster Graphics
B. - Aerial Photography (DOQQ's)
C. - Satellite Imagery
D. - Transportation

Some Great GIS Links

Education and Training

   The are a number of web sites available today that can provide basic to advance training in GIS. However, many of these sites are software vendor specific. For example: the company that makes Arc/Info and ArcView (Environmental Science Research Institute or simply ESRI) provides an excellent training site (ESRI Website). This site provides free instruction as well as courses for a fee. For new comers to the geoscience community, Dr. G. Randy Keller as compiled a great deal of information on how to get started with GIS (GIS Beginning Tutorial). In addition, Dr. Keller has compiled a guide for teachers (GIS Teacher's Guide).

   The GIS community at UTEP is small, however, the following departments and individuals participate in many of the GIS projects and programs on campus. Moreover, these individuals are available to discuss the GIS needs of the geoscience community.

UTEP Regional Geospatial Service Center
Dr. Raed Aldouri
Director of Regional Geospatial Service Center
Dr. G. Randy Keller