Geographic Information System (GIS)
UPO collects, develops, manages, and distributes graphics and data about Harvard's physical environment and surrounding communities to help the University manage physical assets, improve operations and efficiently plan for the future. Our services include graphic design, computer aided drafting (CAD), geographic information systems (GIS), mapping and application development. We support UPO analysis and communications and also serve as a resource in these areas for the Vice President for Administration and the wider University community.
- Geographic Information
- GIS Services
UPO collects and maintains spatial data concerning buildings and grounds on the Harvard campuses and surrounding areas. Examples are utilities, building outlines, streets, parking, land and building ownership, demographics, 3D models and much more.
For compilation, analysis, and presentation of geographic data, UPO uses AutoCAD Map, ArcView, ArcGIS and Adobe Illustrator and various databases. Spatial data is usually maintained in both AutoCAD DWG and ESRI SHP or File Geodatabase formats. While our focus is on Harvard land, buildings and facilities, our analyses often require us to work at neighborhood, municipal and even regional scales. As a result we acquire data at a variety of levels of detail — from individual building floor plans to parcel-sized landscaping plans to regional transportation networks — and from a variety of public and private sources.
In addition to maintaining internally developed databases tracking Parking, Real Estate Rights and Interests, Building Assessment, etc., UPO acquires and analyzes data sets from other Harvard departments (Human Resources, Capital Projects), municipalities (Assessors), state (MassGIS), federal (Census), and commercial sources (Demographics, Business Activity).
We have geographically referenced and unreferenced aerial photography at several levels of resolution from a variety of years. Our latest imagery was acquired in April of 2010. See the GIS Layers page for more information.
UPO provides GIS and CAD data, mapping, and analysis services to university-wide departments (Harvard Campus Planning & Project Management, Real Estate Services, University Operations Services), to the various Schools and Faculties and the wider Harvard University community.
The information used to develop maps of Harvard is available to all Harvard affiliates for Harvard-related purposes. The map data can be provided in a variety of formats: AutoCAD, ESRI shapefile, EPS, PDF and images. See the Standard Maps page for more information.
On a case-by-case basis UPO Planning Resources can also assist in developing custom maps that suit your needs. Examples of our work include the telephone directory map, News Office visitor's map and maps for Commencement and showing Reunion venues. For more information, please contact James Nelson at 496-4434.
UPO has the capability to develop customized CAD, GIS, Internet and database applications to meet specific operational needs. Examples of these applications include a Parking Zoning Allocation Program (PZAP), a Plant Drawing maintenance utility for the Arboretum, a tree maintenance application for FMO, space information and automation tools for Harvard Real Estate Services. For more information, please contact James Nelson at 496-4434.
We developed and maintain the searchable online map of the Harvard campus at http://www.map.harvard.edu.
The Harvard Autodesk site license gives the university the latest releases of many popular Autodesk products including AutoCAD, AutoCAD Map, 3D Studio and MapGuide. For more information, please contact Peter Siebert at 496-1868.
Standards are available for CAD, Space Management Information, and Survey Specifications. These standards are used to maintain consistency in the way data is developed, maintain and distributed. See the Standards page.
We investigate new Internet, CAD and GIS technology and software. Our areas of investigation include devices and software to improve quality of data and the ease with which it is gathered and distributed.
We facilitate communication and sharing of information between departments and faculties. We are interested in fostering professional interaction with the Faculties and other Departments.