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Proceedings of the Symposium on Global and Environmental Monitoring

All machines were running ARC/INFO software. This software proved to be powerful and flexible for completing
all phases of work from initial data capture through final product production. One of the most important features
of ARC/INFO for use in this type of project is the ARC Macro Language (AML). AML allowed the automation
of much of the processing, and in conjunction with coverage naming conventions, created a documented and
consistent processing framework. Approximately 4,000 lines of AML code were developed to control processing
on the UNIX workstations, and an additional 1,000 lines of SML (Simple Macro Language) were developed to
control the data capture procedures on the PC workstations.
Although this project could not have been completed without well planned and documented procedures, there still
is no substitute for raw computing power in a project of this size. All the final processing and product production
was completed on a Data General AV 400 Workstation, a dual processor machine rated at 33 MIPS. The largest
of the tiles (approximately 10,000 final polygons derived from 3 data layers) took just under one hour to process.
This processing, as well as generation of the fmal output products requiring the display and shading of
approximately 120,000 polygons could actually be completed within time frames acceptable to impatient humans.
The purpose of developing the WHS GIS data base was to provide a sound basis for evaluating state and federal
land management policy issues at the landscape level. The first such issue to be addressed using the WHS data
base is the habitat needs of the Northern Spotted Owl.
The Northern Spotted Owl has been listed as Threatened by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and numerous
agencies, both state and federal, must coordinate their efforts to develop Habitat Conservation Plans. The WHS
data base is currently being used in conjunction with habitat models to refine estimates of owl populations given
the expected mix of forest management intensities found within proposed and alternative Habitat Conservation
Many of the most difficult issues facing land management agencies now are how and where to allocate scarce
resources to apparently competing uses. The future challenges lie in developing complementary uses where
possible. GIS technology and data bases such as the WHS are beginning to provide information that is
understandable to not only the scientist, but to the policy-makers and their constituents as well.