Hi Janet-

GIS is a tool that is used to gather data.... the concern wouldn't be
with the GIS, per se, it would be with what happens to the data and
how it is to be used.

Most utilities use it as an add-on to their mapping and drawing
production functions, for data related to position of power poles,
transmission towers, pipelines and other facilities/equipment.

Some of the questions you might want to ask would be:

- how is the data collected at the GPS unit level (media and format)
- where and how will the data be downloaded (modem or physical connection)
- who will be managing the data (organizationally)
- what records series will it be a part of (same or new retention)
- what will be the retention of the data (use and discard, database)
- will the data being collected be used to replace a current system
- will the current system be eliminated and are there records associated

My favorite GPS story is from back in 1992 when they were a fairly
new technology and a drafter and mapper were sent out to gather data
to reflect the as-built physical location of a pipeline between a
metering facility and a compressor station.

When they left the facility, the GPS was left turned on and set on
"auto collect", which gathered data every 2 minutes, something they
were OBVIOUSLY unaware of.  They got back, plugged the unit into the
project engineer's workstation (who had been EAGERLY awaiting the
info) and proceeded to tell him how bad traffic was, etc, etc and
that being why it took them so long to get back with the information.

The unit then began plotting the data, from station to station along
the pipeline..... and then their route back, including the two side
trips off the freeway to a fast food joint and an adult bookstore on
the way back =)

Lawrence Medina
Sr. Records Administrator
Lawrence Livermore National Lab
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