GIS Mapping and Studies of the Texas Hill Country

Hill Country Alliance partners with Texas State University, GIS class 4427, to study hydrology, geography and land use issues in the Texas Hill Country

 


 

Comprehensive Database for Texas Springs

This Data Project Focuses On:
Natural springs are an essential and dynamic characteristic of the unique and diverse landscape of Texas. The springs are currently documented and monitored through various organizations and agencies throughout the state. The data that are collected and made available vary according to their source, and relatively few people have access to these data. The best way to preserve these extraordinary features is through community effort. It has been the goal of THI to combine these data in order to produce a comprehensive map based database that is available to the community in an effort to generate a public interest in the springs of Texas.


 

Places of Scenic Value in the Texas Hill Country

This Data Project Focuses On:
Preserving places of scenic value often results in conserving important natural areas as well as places of historical value. This project focuses on providing an inventory of potential scenic sites in the Texas Hill Country for further evaluation and potential future preservation.


 

Land Use Analysis

This Data Project Focuses On:

  • Data acquisition for land-use in 17 counties defined by the Hill Country Alliance.
  • Create a Web-viewer for an interactive map of collected data.
  • Join database with aquaKESKA for cross-refrencing hydrology maps for human impact study.

Interactive GIS Emphasizing Hydrologic Data

This Project Aims To:

  • Create a public portal to environmental data in 17 counties comprising Hill Country Alliance area of interest.
  • Provide data for groundwater vulnerability model.

Responsible Growth in the Texas Hill Country

Loma Environmental Strategies been assigned to work with the Hill Country Alliance (HCA), a non-profit advocacy group for preservation of the Texas Hill Country, to participate in developing informational resources related to the region. Ultimately the goal of our work with HCA is to facilitate the responsible growth and cost effective expansion of infrastructure and residential and commercial development in the region, while promoting conservation, maintaining the quality of our water resources, and preserving the aesthetics of the Hill Country. Texas is in the unique position of having limited land use planning tools in place which limits the ability of local governments and organizations to monitor zoning of properties. Our project involves the creation of land use information and corresponding maps to provide the tools necessary to promote land use awareness.


Census and Demographic Study

The Texas Hill Country is well known for its beautiful landscapes and friendly people. Current predictions estimate that the hill country’s regional population will double in the next 20 years. Proper planning is required to ensure that this land will not lose its unique cultural and physical identity. A demographic profile reveals characteristics of the people living in the region and various changes that occur over time.

The implementation of GIS and census analyses provide a much better understanding of the inhabitants of the hill country. The use of current and past census data in a GIS provides the ability to create maps that show the change in demographics throughout the Texas Hill Country over time. Understanding past and current spatial trends can assist planners who are working to preserve this wonderful part of Texas for generations to come.


Stream Buffer Analysis

PAKK’s objective was to employ GIS capabilities for illustration and measurement of land area identified by stream buffer guidelines expressed in the Regional Water Quality Protection Plan (RWQPP). The intended use of this data is to present stakeholders with a first order of protection through depiction of setback buffers around streams. The cartographic output provided by PAKK in addition to data and analysis results, will be utilized by HCA and future GIS analysis teams in continuing to gather and aggregate stakeholder input that will prepare them to embark on a full build-out landuse map. The goal of our project was to construct general overview maps to assist in facilitating discussions of the many criteria to consider in urban and rural growth planning. The geographic scope in regard to the stream buffer analysis and land area calculations, is a 17 county area of the central region of Texas called the Hill Country. The geographic scope in regard to the web GIS maps will be 6 counties of interest to HCA including Hays, Comal, Blanco, Kendall, Bandera, & Medina.


 

Groundwater and Surface Water Vulnerability

The Texas Hill Country is facing inevitable growth during a time when preserving environmental resources is critical. The projected water demand increase and limited water resources will continue to be the primary factors in this sensitive issue.

This project will specifically determine which groundwater and surface water areas are most vulnerable to non-point source pollution, taking into account various hydro-geologic and geographic criteria. The results of the analysis will be used by the HCA to influence responsible growth of the Texas Hill Country in an effort to preserve the natural resources and heritage of the region.


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