Data Inventory
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Data Inventory


As a part of the Northeast Ohio EMPACT project, the Data Management Workgroup expands the NEOEDEN web site to provide additional GIS data sets related to various urban and environmental issues in the 15-county Northeast Ohio region.

The following discussion about NEOEDEN is mirrored from the NEOEDEN information page of the Cleveland Cartography web site.


NEO-EDEN - Northeast Ohio Environmental Data Exchange Network

What is it?

NEO-EDEN is a project to create and maintain a data exchange network for northeast Ohio, focusing on environmental and geospatial information. The project will collect, process, and make available on the Internet a broad range of environmental and land-use data in the fourteen-county northeast Ohio region, assemble environmentally-related geospatial data that spans the region, and assist in providing local training on content and applications of these data, Internet access to them, and the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) endorsed Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata.

Who is doing it?

Four universities in northeast Ohio - Cleveland State University (CSU), Kent State University (KSU), the University of Akron (UA), and Youngstown State University (KSU) have received a grant from the Urban University Program (UUP).

Why do it?

Effective management of environmental resources requires current and accurate information which can be used to recognize changes in ecosystems and to link these trends with their likely causes. High quality information is necessary to identify and respond to these trends. Today, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are being used to ensure that rational and ecologically sound decisions are made concerning resource development, impact mitigation, environmental monitoring and other environmental management issues. GIS can evaluate land and resource use alternatives while considering potential environmental and cultural resource impacts, economic implications, and potential use conflicts. 

The ability to combine diverse information, as geospatial data "themes," and examine a broad range of alternatives is just a few of the potential applications and benefits of having a GIS. The information required for more informed decision making is often difficult to retrieve because it is fragmented on different systems and databases managed by several public, nonprofit, and private agencies. The creation of a comprehensive GIS-based environmental data base can often consume a large portion of the time and money allocated for a particular environmental management project. 

This problem is further complicated by users who often collect and enter data that are being maintained by other local, regional, state, or federal agencies. This practice can be avoided by finding prepared data that is current, available, easily interpreted and cost effective. High quality, accurate digital geospatial data either does not exist or is difficult to locate for environmental factors and many geographic areas of northeast Ohio. When the data do exist, they are often poorly documented as to their content, coverage, producer, accuracy, or sources. 

Thus, this project will provide enhanced access, for the universities and for the local, regional, and wider communities, to geospatial data relevant to policy analysis and development and in decision support concerning environmental and land use development issues. It will also support university research and instruction in these and related issue areas.

What will be done?

The project will design and create the NEO-EDEN searchable Web site on a central server, collect the data to be stored in the NEO-EDEN data base, and store these data on networked servers located at each of the four cooperating Universities. The data will all be stored in standardized and fully documented formats to be identified by the participating Universities. The four participating universities will organize and provide training programs for public and private agencies in northeast Ohio on the NEO-EDEN data bases and on the procedures for accessing these data via the Internet. NEO-EDEN activities include: 

  • Development of a centralized inventory and metadata clearinghouse on NEO-EDEN databases which is accessible via the Internet; 

  • Providing Internet access to a distributed network of environmental and land-use related geospatial databases which comprise the collective NEO-EDEN data base; and

  • Establishing a training and education program on the NEO-EDEN data bases, on accessing these data and related data bases via the Internet, and on the nationally-specified metadata standards which are used to describe these data.

What will the products include?

Products include: 

  • A searchable Internet node utilizing a central NEO-EDEN "home page," which provides information exchange and other clearinghouse functions using the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) endorsed Content Standards for Digital Geospatial Metadata; 

  • A comprehensive metadata-referenced inventory of current environmental databases and spatial database applications in northeast Ohio;

  • Extensive digital spatial information collections stored at each of the GIS-Net sites and accessible through the central
    NEO-EDEN node; 

  • An online metadata system which describes and documents the NEO-EDEN databases. e. instruction and training to
    professionals, private citizens, and university students in the region on content and use of the NEO-EDEN data, on using the Internet to access these data, and on the FGDC-endorsed standards which are used to describe and document these data.

What will the inventory provide?

The universities will inventory all of the publicly available geospatial data for Northeast Ohio by local, regional, state, and federal agencies. The inventory will: 

  • Determine programs or organization which produce, manage, or disseminate geo-referenced environmental data which could be incorporated into NEO-EDEN; 

  • Identify the geospatial data which each organization holds, the characteristics of these data, their condition, and their suitability for inclusion in the NEO-EDEN data base; 

  • Establish priorities for collecting and documenting these data on the basis of their demand, geographic extent, uniqueness, and other criteria to be determined by the NEO- EDEN organizations and users. 

  • Identify other data which are not currently available in digital form which might be suitable for adding to the NEO-EDEN data bases.

When will it be done?

The project and its schedule is currently in the planning phase. However, it is likely that the inventory survey will be distributed in early fall. Data collection and development of web and ftp sites will be undertaken over the fall and winter. Introduction of the web and ftp sites will probably occur in the winter or spring. Long-term maintenance of the network will depend on future funding and participant support.

Who do you contact for more information?

  • Mark Salling
    NODIS - The Urban Center, Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University Cleveland, Ohio 44115
    voice: 687-2209
    fax: 687-9239

  • Jay Lee
    Department of Geography, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio 44242
    voice: (330) 672-3222
    fax: (330) 672-4304

  • Richard Klosterman
    Dept. of Geography. & Planning, University of Akron, Akron, Ohio 44325
    voice: (330) 972-8037
    fax: (330) 972-6080

  • Tom Finnerty
    Center for Urban Studies, Youngstown State University, Youngstown, Ohio 44555-3355
    voice: (330) 742-3355
    fax: (330) 742-1527