Watershed Information Technology: Strategic Planning, ArcGIS, and Endangered Species Habitat Conservation

Tom Van Buren


Abstract ArcGIS and the Cedar River Watershed Habitat Conservation Plan have turned our GIS shop into an IT Unit. These initiatives and others, like the Cedar River Watershed Education Center, and the Employee Voice Survey Action Plan, require us to use leading edge technology and to invent solutions for increasingly complex problems. We are presented with an opportunity to think and act strategically and to make a plan that captures the potential of information technology. Our mission: derive repeatable information technology solutions that provide a rapid return on information. Our vision: decision-makers will personalize service to establish their objectives and to identify, evaluate, and choose an alternative. This paper details how we intend to successfully implement our strategies and achieve our full potential.



Located 35 miles southeast of Seattle and larger than the City itself, the Cedar River Municipal Watershed supplies more than two-thirds of the region’s drinking water. Comprising two-thirds of the entire Cedar River Basin, this 90,546-acre natural area supports a wide diversity of plants and animals and several major ecosystems. Watershed Information Technology (WIT) enables ready access to information for the Watershed Management Division in the City of Seattle. WIT includes software, hardware, and people. Over twenty City staff (from two branches, two divisions, and eight sections) in SPU cooperate to support and develop WIT.

ArcGIS and the Cedar River Watershed Habitat Conservation Plan have turned our GIS shop into an IT Unit. GIS is reaching beyond maps and includes statistical analysis, network analysis, CAD, AM/FM, geocoding and GPS, DBMS, LIS, SDSS, multimedia, hotlinks, hypertext, expert systems, and automated spatial analysis (O’Looney, 2000). Other initiatives, like the Cedar River Watershed Education Center, and the Watershed Management Division Action Plans, demand that we "use technology inventively and search for new electronic ways to carry out familiar tasks" (Economist, 2001). We have a great opportunity to think and act strategically and to make a plan that makes the best use of information technology. On 9 November 2000 we agreed to prepare a Strategic Plan for Information Technology for the Watershed Management Division.

A strategic plan is a disciplined effort to produce fundamental decisions that shape and guide what we are, what we do, and why we do it. To deliver the best results, strategic planning requires broad yet effective information gathering, development and exploration of strategic alternatives, and an emphasis on future implications of present decisions. Strategic planning can help us in several ways. In addition to clarifying our future direction and establishing priorities, it can help solve organizational problems and support decisions across levels and functions, improve our performance, deal effectively with rapidly changing circumstances, and build teamwork and expertise. (Bryson, 1995).



WIT is mission-critical to the Watershed Management Division, and its mandates become our mandates. These mandates help us define our "unconstrained field of action" and give us good reasons to do what we do. The division has several formal mandates: City Ordinances, relating to secondary use, anadromous fish (#114632, # 115204) and habitat conservation, National Environmental Policy Act, State Environmental Policy Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Endangered Species Act, Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA, 42 U.S.C. sec 300f et seq.), Surface Water Treatment Rule, National Forest Management Act, State Forest Practice Act (WAC 222), Emergency Rules, State Turbidity Rules, State Shoreline Management Act, State Hydraulic Code Rule ( WAC 220.110.070 ).

In addition, the division has several informal mandates: King County Basin initiatives, municipal surface water initiatives, and public tours. And the division expects WIT to provide computer-based business applications and technology. This includes timely technical support; seamless access to reliable, accurate and current data; high quality cartography; production applications; data analysis; broadband connectivity; and functional computer and communication equipment.


Mission of Watershed Information Technology

Here we attempt to describe who we are; our philosophy; the issues we exist to address; what we do to recognize, anticipate, and respond to these issues; how we provide our stakeholders with what they value; and what makes us unique.

We derive repeatable information technology solutions that provide a rapid return on information. We capture the potential of IT and empower our stakeholders with personalized service. Through an ethic of environmental stewardship, we design a GIS, web-enabled business applications, and computer configurations to support decisions to manage and protect our water supply, forests, fish, wildlife, and cultural resources. Our applications and cartography provide educational opportunities to increase public awareness and appreciation of the watersheds. We enable stakeholders to respond to formal and informal mandates with decisive effect.



This section identifies the stakeholders in WIT. A stakeholder is defined as any person, group, or organization that can place a claim on our attention, resources, or output or is affected by that output.

County Agencies
Environmental Organizations
Federal Agencies
Future Generations
Indian Tribes
Municipal Agencies
Private Industries
School Children
State Agencies
City Council
Mayor’s Office
SPU Director’s Office
SPU Finance and Administration Branch
Information Technology Division
SPU Resource Management Branch Executive Office
Watershed Management Division
Water Quality and Supply Division
Water Management Division

External Environment Assessment

In this section we attempt to identify forces and trends, key resource controllers, and actual or potential collaborators or competitors. This assessment is future oriented and identifies opportunities and threats to WIT.

Habitat Conservation Plan

The Cedar River Watershed HCP is a 50-year, ecosystem-based plan that will cost the City of Seattle ratepayers approximately $93 million to implement. It ensures the City of Seattle’s drinking water supply and protects and restores habitats of 83 species of fish and wildlife that may be affected by water supply and hydroelectric operations on the Cedar River. The plan includes land and forest management in the municipal watershed, mitigation for the blockage to anadromous salmon and trout at the City’s drinking water intake, regulation of stream flows in the Cedar River, and research and monitoring to support conservation and mitigation measures.

As of February 8, 2001, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has approved 341 Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) and more than 200 are being developed by landowners across the country (USFW, 2001). Opening the door to HCPs, Congress amended the Endangered Species Act in 1982 to allow "incidental take" permits that authorize take of endangered species habitat that "is incidental to, and not the purpose of, the carrying out of an otherwise lawful activity."

Our plan is designed expressly to provide a net benefit for covered species by protecting the entire 90,546-acre headwaters of the Cedar River in an ecological reserve. Native salmon and trout will access 55% more river habitat. And a scientifically based regime of river flows will substantially improve habitat conditions throughout the river and provide flexibility to realize even greater potential benefits as new information becomes available in the future. The Cedar River Watershed HCP represents the Puget Sound’s most significant effort to date in comprehensively addressing the Endangered Species Act for several listed species, including chinook salmon, northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet, and common loon.

The final HCP represents the culmination of more than 14 years of collaborative study and six years of negotiation to develop a comprehensive, scientifically based plan to restore the diverse ecosystems of the Cedar River Watershed. The HCP is a national model for large-scale watershed protection and restoration that will leave a lasting legacy for fish, wildlife and people.

We are pursuing collaborative research and grant opportunities with the University of Washington and local, state, and federal agencies. Research and monitoring is a large component o ft the HCP. Adaptive management and developing a learning organization is paramount to successful implementation.

On 21 April 2000, the Mayor of Seattle and federal officials signed the final Cedar River Watershed Habitat Conservation Plan and the City received an incidental take permit.

Cedar River Watershed Education Center

To be opened in July 2001, on a ridge overlooking Rattlesnake Lake, the education center will be a place for hands-on environmental learning. Interactive exhibits will allow students to explore the science of the watershed. A library will organize the city’s collection of artifacts, documents, maps, and photographs. Artifacts will be tracked and a bibliography of research will be managed in a database. The Center will provide researchers with original materials and perpetuate the watershed's legacy as an active part of the region's future.

Changing Technology

New initiatives by Esri have opened GIS software to the capabilities of object technology and relational database management. Programming languages such as Visual C++, Visual Basic, and Java, databases like Oracle, and extensible markup languages and data centric web servers will extend the capabilities of our GIS and information technology. These platforms make it easier to create intuitive interfaces for our stakeholders, with capabilities traditionally granted to experts. The stakeholder will personalize their service and have it immediately. In addition, the evolving field of mobile computing accelerates the use of vast amounts of pertinent information that will likely affect the division and improve our abilities beyond our imagination.

SPU Strategic Information Technology Plan

SPU’s 1997-98 Strategic Plan calls for the development of key department-wide business plans. In support of this imperative, the Utility’s Information Technology managers initiated a cohesive technology plan -- a "blueprint" for coordinating the disparate technology resources in SPU. This strategic information technology plan focuses on the Utility’s application portfolio and configuration management (i.e., platforms, operating systems, network connectivity, and databases).

Technical Systems Lateral Team (TSLT) Charter

Strategic Planning: SPU is committed to continually improving upon existing systems and business practices. Acting as an agent of initiative and change, the TSLT will introduce strategic initiatives to leadership. The goal of such initiatives is to further integrate and improve technology, systems, and the overall functions and performance of SPU. Policy Development: As new technologies emerge and as others become more accessible, new or revised policies are required. Policy development will include guidelines for usage, procurement, and change of services.

Central Geographic Data Base (CGDB) Technology Refresh CIP

This four-year CIP will upgrade the CGDB to object-oriented data structures. Its goal is a configuration management that increases the productivity of GIS developers and users with object technology. In addition this project hopes to avoid costs associated with obsolescence and bring GIS into compliance with City database deployment, data warehouse, and enterprise architecture standards.


The Watershed Management Division is undertaking several activities to facilitate change, improve morale, and improve the quality of management through better communication and resolution of problems. We have written an Employee Voice Survey Action Plan and the Composite Report Action Plan in response to staff interviews and surveys. In addition, SPU Human Resources wrote a Business Analysis that examined opportunities and threats and recommended changes. Finally, the Watershed Management Team serves as a watchdog and assists in completing our action plans.


Internal Environment Assessment

In this section we attempt to identify the strengths and weaknesses of WIT in its present state. We describe our resources, our present strategy, and our performance.



We currently have four and one half full time employees working for the Watershed Management Division and directly supporting WIT. And an approximate equivalent of two and one half full time employees (from 20 plus staff from two branches) providing administrative and systems support.


4 Windows NT (3 21" Monitors, 1 24" monitor) Processor (2)Intel® Pentium® III Processor 800MHz
Memory 256MB (2-128MB Modules) ECC RDRAM
Hard Drive 18GB 10K RPM Ultra160 SCSI Drive with Ultra160 Controller
Elsa Gloria Synergy 8mb video card

1 UNIX Solaris Ultra 80 with 24" monitor
4 x 450 MHz Ultra Sparc II
Expert 3d Graphics, 50 GB HD

1 Sparc 10

1 Windows NT Gateway P3 650 (20" monitor)

Storedge A1000 Raid array 145 Gb (4x36.4 Gb 10k RPM disks)

1 Novell Server Compaq ProLiant DL380 Intel® Pentium® 933/133 Rack Model

1 Windows NT Server for ARCIMS - Compaq ProLiant DL380 Intel® Pentium® 933/133 Rack Model (512 MB)

1 Windows NT Gateway P3 550 128 (21" monitor)

2 Power Macintosh G3's
1 Epson Scanjet IIx 24-bit color scanner \
2 Iomega JAZ drives (1gig and 2 gig)
1 Iomega ZIP 250 drive

18 Windows Compaq P2 400

1 Windows 95 Compaq P2 300

15 Gateway P3 550 128

1 Windows 95 Compaq 166MMX

13 Gateway P3 650 128

5 Tecra 8000 laptops

1 Gateway P3 550 256

2 Tecra 510 CDS laptops

6 Palm Pilots III

1 Trimble GeoExplorer 3

1 Canon ColorPass Print Server z40

1 Canon CLC 1120 with 11x17 glass

1 HP 2500 Inkjet Plotter

5 HP 4000 LaserJet

1 HP 4 Plus LaserJet

1 HP ScanJet 5200

1 Sharp LCD Projector XG-NV6xU

1 Trimble Pro XR GPS

1 LB-1 Laser Beam 3900

6 Campbell Scientific CR10x



Software on Solaris

Software on NT

ArcInfo 8.1 six floating licenses

Visio Enterprise 5

ArcSDE 8 five Oracle connections

Visual Basic 6

Oracle 8I five licenses

Adobe Illustrator 8

ERDAS Imagine 8.3

Adobe Photoshop 5

LizardTech MrSID Geospatial Encoder Workstation 1.3.1

QuarkExpress 4.0

Image Alchemy 1.10

ArcInfo 8.1

Apache HTTP Server 1.3.12

ArcIMS 3

Perl 5.03

ArcView 3.2a

Netscape 4.5.1

Hummingbird Exceed 6.0


Groupwise 5.5

Software on Macs

Internet Explore 5.5

Adobe Photoshop 5.02

Microsoft Front Page 97

Macromedia Freehand 8.0

Microsoft Office 97

Adobe Pagemaker 6.5

Adaptec Easy CD Creator 4

Filemaker Pro 3.0

Trimble Pathfinder Office 2.7

Adobe Premiere 5.0


Macromedia Director 6.5

Adobe Acrobat 4.0

Adobe Pagemill

Palm Desktop

Microsoft Office including Frontpage


OmniPage 6.0 Optical Character Recognition


Software on Windows 95

In addition to city standard desktop applications

Culvert Master


FishXng 2.0





Stand Inventory System

Star Log

Visio Pro


Palm Desktop


Adobe Acrobat 4.0

Caere Scan Manager

Boxcar Pro

Travers PC


ArcView 3.2a



Present Strategy

"I skate to where I think the puck will be." Wayne Gretzky

Our application, data, and web server are currently housed in a Sun Ultra 80. Our Novell file and mail servers run on a Compaq Proliant and our intranet map server uses another Compaq Proliant NT server. All facilities are wired with category 5 twisted pair copper. Our T1 line is being upgraded to a 40 Mb microwave connection and video conferencing at Cedar Falls will be installed. Two-thirds of our desktop computers have a Pentium III processor, the remaining one-third have a Pentium II. Telemetry for our monitoring sites is partially enabled and we are installing six Campbell scientific data loggers on our weather stations.

We installed Oracle, a city standard database management system, and are building an object-oriented geodatabase to be accessed with ArcSDE (Spatial Database Engine) and ArcGIS 8. We purchased ArcIMS (Internet Map Server) and are developing web-enabled applications and we are leveraging legacy AML (Arc Macro Language) scripts via inter-application communication (IAC) from html action forms. Our Apache web server, shedweb, manages content of interest to the division and shedmap delivers standard and custom cartographic products. Finally, ERDAS Imagine is our image-processing package enabling us to enhance and classify our remotely sensed data and to track temporal changes in the watershed and its environs.

We are developing a framework for data, researching appropriate information sources, preparing for a strategic plan, and gathering requirements for products. And we are adopting a project-based organization. Some projects include building front ends in Visual Basic, building metadata in ArcCatalogue, building ArcIMS applications, enhancing our IAC application, transforming coverages to Oracle, and making individual training plans.

One job description for a Watershed IT Professional reads in part:

Design, develop, and maintain databases to provide accessibility, security, and integrity of data. Analyze, test, and implement software applications and physical database design supporting multiple business needs. Formulate and monitor policies, procedures, and standards relating to GIS and database management. Ensure data recovery, maintenance, data integrity, and space requirements are met. In addition, analyze impact of requested services, document alternatives, and recommendations. Implement a system design strategy that promotes successful selection of IT hardware and software solutions. Support existing infrastructure requirements. Provide specific recommendations for hardware, software, and network solutions based on existing and projected user needs. Develop projects that are mission critical to the operation and programs of the Division, SPU, and City.

Develop plans, execute project plans, and control changes. Meet project objectives and key performance indicators for Watershed Management Division. Define and monitor milestones and be held accountable for accomplishments. Administer division operational work plan initiatives. Negotiate set of measurable customer wants and needs. Identify organizational options and project team. Lead with focus on project's goals, objectives, and results. Analyze effectiveness and efficiency of project process. Take corrective action to bring expected future performance of project into line with plan.



"If you don’t keep score. You’re only practicing." Vince Lombardi

How our stakeholders feel about us generally and what we accomplish specifically is a matter of consequence. Attention to their concerns is crucial and their satisfaction is paramount to our success. Performance management refocuses our management, budgeting, policy, and developments on bottom line results. For example, what has been the impact of IT spending and activity in the division?

We must plan to deliver high-quality products and services to our stakeholders through better, faster, and cheaper programs. We must establish performance measures for which we are held fully accountable to assess and ensure that we are indeed successful. What worked, what didn’t work, and what could be improved? We may chose to measure performance using the following indicators:


Usage of web site

# High quality maps published

# Papers presented at conferences

# Applications developed and supported

# Customers using our tools

# Visitors on tour and at Education Center

# Analyses performed

# Decisions supported

# Service calls supported on site

# Service calls supported by ServiceDesk

# User requests backlogged

# Software bugs reported

# Software bugs fixed

# Complaints

# Training courses taken

Is it easier to do business with IT staff?

Staff turnover rate

Results of stakeholder surveys

Response time to service requests

Communication – how well do we communicate with our stakeholders? How do we follow up? How have we enhanced telecommunications to more quickly get the right person?

Strategic Issues

"The confidence that we can get things done is essential to our sense of hope and self determination as a city." Mayor Paul Schell, 6 January 1998

Strategic issues are fundamental policy questions or critical challenges that affect our mandates, mission, values, product and services, stakeholders, or management. The issue should be framed as a question that we can do something about, the factors that make it a fundamental challenge should be listed, and the consequences of failing to address the issue should be stated. As our issues and situations become clear and consequences discussed, and behavioral changes necessary to deal with issues emerge, strategic planning becomes less academic and more ‘real.’(Bryson, 1995)

The HCP represents a fundamental challenge in watershed management. We need to decide what information we need, why we need it, and where we should spend money (ecological thinning, bank stabilization, road decommission) for the greatest return to achieve our desired future conditions (Morian, 1999). The ability of WIT to provide information services will be essential to the success of watershed staff. Failure to adopt and support new technologies may result in slower, costlier, and less effective outcomes and may threaten our ability to implement the HCP.

The Education Center will house several computers performing various outreach programs. The Center will require real-time access to data, through interactive, intuitive, and simple interfaces. Change to the underlying data as well as updates and additions to the interfaces must not cause conflicts. If system changes makes outreach programs incompatible, then the Center may cease to function properly and will require continuous trouble-shooting and resources to operate.

These initiatives are a fundamental challenge to the division and WIT. Action plans call for better communication, time management, project management, and training. Managing the flow of information, paper and electronic, through the division is complex. Delivering information technology to both field and office staff will not be easy. Failure to address these issues will result in poor communication, low morale, wasted time, and wasted resources.

The Internet will become integrated into everything we do and will make WIT readily accessible to all stakeholders. Separating content from presentation and building a database enabled website will challenge our current abilities. The ability to interact with our stakeholders and manage content in a database that is dynamically pulled to create web pages will benefit our stakeholders immensely. Use the web as a central repository and open directory and develop a context-rich, easy-to-remember, and easy-to-communicate framework for finding and sharing information for the division. (See list of URLs below)

GIS and information technology diffusion of tools, services and data to our stakeholders is of paramount importance. If our stakeholders don’t use WIT what’s the point? Our stakeholders have made WIT what it is and we need to insure WIT has the institutional capacity (tools, data, people) to respond to, and be ahead of, stakeholder demands. Easy to use and current IT for field and office will enable watershed staff to increase data collection, to perform better remote operations, enhance communication, and be more efficient in research and monitoring. The more WIT builds applications that provide our stakeholders with self service tools the more effectively we’ll respond to our mandates and monitor our progress. (Poore, forthcoming, Masser and Campbell, 1996, Kraak, 2001, LaTour, 1987)

Strategies and Actions for Managing the Issues

"We must take responsibility for the problem at hand and be willing to risk the possibility that every solution won’t work," Mayor Paul Schell, 6 January 1998

A strategy is a pattern of purposes, policies, programs, actions, decisions, or resource allocations that defines what WIT is, what it does, and why it does it. Strategies ensure that strategic change, though there may be failures initially, are successes in the end. General strategies will fail if the specific steps to implement them are absent (Bryson, 1995). In formulating strategies we should attempt to answer five questions:

    1. What practical alternatives might be pursued to address a strategic issue?
    2. What are the barriers to realize this alternative?
    3. What major proposals might be pursued to overcome barriers to realization?
    4. What major actions (with existing staff) must be taken in the next year to implement the major proposal?
    5. What specific steps must be taken in the next six months to implement the major proposals and who is responsible?


Practical Alternatives: Develop framework data at finest resolution possible. Review information requirements that can be met by remote sensing. Develop data standards, protocols and acquisition plan. Determine information need and spatial and temporal scale. Adopt plan to handle multi-scale data. Research data modeling in forest growth, habitat relationships, archaeology predication, and sediment delivery and prepare for integration. Develop database logical and physical models. Build metadata and ensure open data access. Collaborate and build geodatabase alliances with local, state, and federal agencies, tribes and universities. Analyze data – build hydrography data framework, select riparian sites for large woody debris, bank stabilization, and bank revegetation projects. Assist biodiversity initiative. Transform coverages to geodatabase using ArcSDE. Build front ends in Visual Basic. Define land cover classification units with remotely sensed data that characterizes ecological units. Adopt a project based organization.

Barriers: small staff and existing skill set, steep terrain makes it difficult to capture and classify remotely sensed data, limited coverage, out-of-date, inadequate, or incorrect data.

Major Proposal: build framework data at finest resolution possible, research remotely sensed data, adopt project management and project management information system, collaborate with the University of Washington, local, state and federal agencies.

Major Action: form data framework committee, acquire remotely sensed and other data, transfer skills, detail projects, and build user interfaces

Specific Steps: write data framework manifesto, conduct requirements analysis and scope of work, acquire MASTER data, get training in Oracle, ERDAS, VB, Java, web technologies, write project summaries and schedules, construct physical and logical data models. Analyze remotely sensed data on-hand (Landsat TM, panchromatic orthophotos, DEMs)

Watershed Education Center

Practical Alternatives: Build and prepare coverages for a physical model of watershed for Interpretive Hall. Build public access mapping application "Know your Watershed Address".

Barriers: public access to data and application server, local area network speed.

Major Proposal: conduct requirements analysis, provide public access to data server, and collaborate with City public access web development team.

Major Action: gather, confirm, and document requirements, work with IT Division to create options.

Specific Steps: prepare cartography, build web-enabled application, and define the work and event driven use cases.

Web Technologies

Practical Alternatives: Develop a database enabled web site with a focus on usability. Enable searches, include high resolution image server and installation of an internet map server, enable interactive spatial data queries and access, develop interactive research and monitoring tools, enhance existing shedmap and support streaming video and audio. Build a watershed portal to current and historic content. Explore web cartography, build ArcIMS applications, develop javascripts and server side computing. Use embedded markup language to describe our data in way that is meaningful to our stakeholders and that reflects the nature of the data. (Holman, 2000)

Barriers: staff resources, skill set, firewall, licensing, new technology, and new standards

Major Proposal: conduct requirements analysis, adopt open source web technologies, establish Research and Development program

Major Action: gather, confirm, and document requirements, research opensource server side scripting, XML, scalable vector graphics, and servers

Specific Steps: install cocoon, install scalable vector graphics package, develop javascripts, get training in Java and web technologies, hire web interns.

Use of WIT

Practical Alternatives: develop web and local network enabled applications that are easy to use and provide ready access to information and personalized service, provide general training to watershed staff, build organizational context that encourages the use of WIT

Barriers: skill set, limited resources, new technology, new standards

Major Proposal: establish Research and Development program, conduct requirements analysis, collaborate with the University of Washington

Major Action: gather, confirm, and document requirements, diffuse WIT to stakeholders

Specific Steps: install Pendragon software on PDAs to enable field collection, research feasibility of bar codes for research projects.

Division Action Plans

Practical Alternatives: develop website, develop simple action plan, work closely with other divisions and branches, research systems dynamics

Barriers: difficult to manage, limited resources

Major Proposal: adopt a Three-Step Action Plan

Major Action: form Management Team subcommittees in Strategic Planning, Performance Management, and Project Management

Specific Steps: install video conferencing, summarize all division projects and detail schedules, research project management information systems, seek training in project management, strategic planning, performance management.

Statement of Vision

"The water you touch in the river is the last of that which has passed and the first of that which is coming." Leonardo da Vinci

This is a description of what Watershed Information Technology should look like once it has successfully implemented its strategies and achieved its full potential.

Within five years, Watershed Information Technology will deploy IT in support of watershed management. e-Shed will be a web-enabled enterprise, utilizing technology to serve fast and flexible information. Our systems will be easily modified and quickly tailored to our changing needs. We will provide viable, cost effective, content management solutions for the division. e-Shed will offer fresh stimulating content, cartography, and database access. Data acquisition, storage, retrieval, and management will be seamless.

Spatial decision support systems will enable decision-makers to easily establish their objectives and to identify, evaluate, and choose an alternative. Our object-oriented geodatabase will have defined data rules, properties, and behaviors. Software applications will work reliably. Stakeholders will personalize information services by themselves. Our information technology solutions will be repeatable. Interactive educational tools will engage school children and casual visitors alike.

We will have developed cooperative client/server computing and will have eliminated network processing. We will support mobile computing – enabling all staff to access information anytime from anywhere. Our conference rooms will be equipped with audio feeds and e-Shed will have streaming video, audio, and written transcripts.

We will have open and active communication, with increased speed, and a free flow of information (paper and electronic) throughout the division. As a result, we will minimize labor costs, data redundancy and inconsistency, while increasing the quality and accuracy of information.


I want to thank David Galt for his help in writing Preparing A Strategic Plan for Information Technology and the Strategic Planning Team for Watershed Information Technology: Vicki Evans, Alison Frost, Mark Joselyn, Harvey Kocher, Ralph Naess, and Walt Sigman for participating in several team meetings.


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Duncan , W R, 1996, A Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge, Project Management Institute

Flannagan, D, 1998, Javascript: The Definitive Guide (3rd Edition), O’Reilly & Associates

Graham, R J, Englund, R L, 1997, Creating an Environment for Successful Projects: The Quest to Manage Project Management, Jossey-Bass

Hiss, T, 1991, The Experience of Place, Vintage Books

Holman, G K, 2000, What is XSLT? (I), http://www.xml.com/pub/a/2000/08/holman/s1.html

Kerzner, H, 2000, Project Management: A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling, and Controlling, 7th Edition, John Wiley & Sons

Loney, K, Koch G, 2000, Oracle8I: The Complete Reference, Osborne McGraw-Hill

Kraak, M J, Brown A, 2001, Web Cartography, Taylor & Francis

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LaTour, B, 1987, Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers Through Society, Harvard University Press

Lessig, L, 1999, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, Basic Books

Morain, S, ed, 1999, GIS Solutions in Natural Resource Management: Balancing the Technical-Political Equation, OnWord Press

Nielson, J, 1999, Designing Web Usability: The Practice of Simplicity, New Riders Publishing

O’Looney, J A, 2000, Beyond Maps: GIS Decision Making in Local Government, Esri

Poore, B, forthcoming, The Open Black Box: GIS users and integration

Robertson, S, Robertson J, 1999, Mastering the Requirements Process, Addison-Wesley

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 2001, Habitat Conservation Plans and Incidental Take Permitting, http://endangered.fws.gov/hcp/hcpplan.html

URL listing

Context-rich, easy-to-remember, and easy-to-communicate framework for finding and sharing information http://antarcti.ca/

XML from the inside out: http://www.xml.com/

The Apache Software Foundation: http://www.apache.org/

The Apache XML Project: http://xml.apache.org/

The Jakarta Project: http://jakarta.apache.org/

Computer Books, Conferences, Software, Online Publishing: http://www.oreilly.com/

The source for open and emerging technologies: http://www.oreillynet.com/

One Internet portal. All fisheries research: http://www.onefish.org/index.html

Open directory project the most comprehensive directory of the web: http://dmoz.org/

Site created by and for the Linux and open source communities: http://linux.com/

City of Seattle Habitat Conservation Plan: http://www.cityofseattle.net/util/watershed/cedar/hcp/overview.htm

Database and Internet computing for plan devises: http://www.pendragon-software.com/

Author Information

Tom Van Buren

Watershed Management Division, Resource Management Branch
Seattle Public Utilities, City of Seattle
19901 Cedar Falls Road
North Bend, WA 98045
Phone (206) 386 4212
Fax (206) 615 1923
Email tom.vanburen@ci.seattle.wa.us