IZT developed and operated a geographic information system (GIS) to support contract activities. This system supported infrastructure development and protected existing resources (power lines, water distribution, etc.) by enabling personnel to determine such resources’ characteristics and location. In turn, this activity provided valuable information for asset management. The result was protection of the infrastructure components, planning and modeling, and collection of information to support problem-resolution—all leading to cost savings for the Army. We worked with Iraqi government officials to identify other potential uses for such systems.
IZT’s GIS team in Iraq worked with digital imagery and dozens of datasets. This enabled end users to develop a full understanding of risk factors associated with oil pipelines, physical characteristics of transportation networks, and extent of telecommunications infrastructure, taking into account natural elements such as environmental surface features and water sources (e.g., along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and their tributaries).
IZT staff presented GIS demonstrations to Iraqi counterparts, Ministry officials, and other stakeholders, communicating both basic and more complex features of GIS as a planning tool. IZT underscored the message that while localized GIS projects comprise an essential tool, a unified system has enormous value. In fact, achieving nation-level planning goals would not be possible otherwise.
The adjacencies between the datasets that IZT entered into our GIS projects (in collaboration with Iraqi stakeholders) allow our team to demonstrate to the user community in Iraq (such as GIS technicians/analysts and policy-makers) the benefits of an enterprise GIS solution. These physical adjacencies also enable end users to visualize pressures and conflicts between physical and social factors, and between elements such as within the oil and gas sector and other sectors, allowing for enhanced physical planning and decision-making. IZT also advised the GOI on data collection, and devised strategies to address the challenges of collecting pertinent data in Iraq.