GIMS Metadata FAQ
What is the Geographic Information Management System (GIMS)?
GIMS is a term used by DNR to describe a collection of related technologies used to manage spatial data. These technologies include geographic information systems, computer-aided design systems, automated and desktop mapping systems, remote sensing and image analysis systems, and their related database management systems. The goal of the GIMS program is to provide natural resource information to the public in a more efficient and effective manner.
What is metadata?
Metadata is a term that refers to data about data. Data documentation is important in maintaining the value of information. Without this documentation it is difficult to determine what data and information exist, the specific characteristics of the data, how appropriate the data are for a given use, and the availability of data. These issues are addressed by metadata.
Is this data available for downloading?
Most data described in the GIMS Metadata system are available for downloading. Simply follow the instructions provided in the Transfer Instructions portion of the metadata report, or call, email or fax your request to the contact person indicated in the report.
Since data distribution is the responsibility of the Division that creates and maintains the digital data, transfer formats and instructions may differ. Most files described in the GIMS Metadata are available free, however there may be a charge involved depending on which division you are requesting data from, the transfer medium, special extraction, and conversion services requested. The contact person listed in the metadata report can provide the details for your specific data request. If you cannot find the correct person charged with the dataset you are looking for, feel free to contact the GIMS Coordinator for assistance.
Do I need special programs to use this data?
Digital data from ODNR is available in Esri GIS formats. To make use of these data the potential user must have software that can use of these formats. Generally speaking the data will be in Shapefile, file GeoDatabse, ARC/INFO Interchange (export or e00) format, ERDAS Imagine format, or to a lesser extent Intergraph DGN or DWG formats. The metadata report for a data set lists what formats the data is available in.
For additional information on products offered by these companies see their web sites: for Esri www.esri.com, for ERDAS www.erdas.com, and for Intergraph www.intergraph.com. If you are using some other mapping or Geographic Information System software, check your software manual. You may be able to use one or more of these formats.
For more information on the GIS software used at the ODNR, please consult Chapter 3 of the booklet, Geographic Information Policy and Guidelines of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (Link).
Why can’t I import the e00 files obtained from ODNR in ArcView?
ESRI’s ArcView does not accept Arc/Info’s export (e00) file format directly. The user must use the Import71 utility included with ArcView to reformat these files into Arc/Info coverages, which ArcView can read.
Is this all the digital data available from the Department of Natural Resources?
No. The Department of Natural Resources has been producing digital geographic data for more than thirty-five years. This data has been created, and is maintained and distributed by several Divisions within DNR depending on the mandate and responsibilities of the Division. The DNR metadata system is an aging system, and many data have not been documented in the system both older and newer data sets. For more information on data sets that may be available from DNR, please visit the web pages of the responsible Division or consult the Department GIMS Coordinator. (http://ohiodnr.com/gims/contacts/tabid/15403/Default.aspx).
What other sources of digital data exist in State of Ohio Agencies?
Several State Agencies use, produce and distribute geographic digital data. Though no comprehensive index currently exists, the following links provide a good starting point for locating this type of information.
Ohio Geographically Referenced Information Program (OGRIP)
Ohio Department of Administrative Services, GIS Support Center
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
Ohio Department of Development
Ohio Department of Transportation
Public Utilities Commission of Ohio