When evaluating a property for development or improvement, the first questions to arise involve the location of mapped floodplains and wetlands. Increased access to online GIS data has made it quick and easy to answer those questions.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has made The National Flood Hazard Layer publically available through online GIS services. Similarly, US Fish and Wildlife Service published the National Wetlands Inventory publically as online GIS data. To streamline the property evaluation process, SSM has combined these and other GIS data to create a web-based GIS application.
SSM’s “Site Suitability Analysis” is a pre-acquisition/pre-development decision maker’s tool that identifies physical and environmental limitations or constraints on a property that could impact development scenarios. The analysis uses publicly available geographic information and consolidates it to a single interactive map. In addition to floodplains and wetlands, the application provides sinkhole risk potential (only available in Pennsylvania), highway access distance, and information on nearby environmentally regulated facilities, such as wastewater treatment plants, emergency response facilities, solid waste landfills, and toxic substances facilities.