Over its 50 years of operation, the PA State Historic Preservation Office (PA SHPO) has produced and received a large and varied quantity of archival materials.
This includes Environmental Review files, more than 13,000 archaeology and above ground survey reports, 165,000 historic and archaeological resource forms, National Register nominations, tax credit applications, and more that amounts to millions of pages of paper documents and photographs.
Much of this legacy data is available through the Cultural Resource Geographic Information System (CRGIS), while some data are currently only available by a search of physical records at the SHPO’s archive in Harrisburg, PA.
To catch up with the 21st century, the PA SHPO initiated several multi-staged projects with an end goal of developing a new enterprise-wide, spatially-enabled, cultural resource information system that will be called…
PA SHARE: Pennsylvania’s Historic and Archaeological Resource Exchange
The PA SHARE system will be the primary system for all program areas. This system will allow external users to submit all types of projects for SHPO review and access resource-related information electronically. The public can also use this system to access our wide range of data remotely. An experienced firm was recently hired to build the PA SHARE software. Software development will begin in July 2018 and is scheduled to complete by October 2019.
We are expecting PA SHARE to GO LIVE by December 2019. Very exciting!
Development of this new system will sunset CRGIS and other independent office databases, efficiently integrating the vast amount of data that exists in hardcopy and digital formats, and support a revised business process for the effective management of the many programs for which SHPO is responsible.
The new system will achieve efficient and effective internal work processes and procedures, improve communications with the public and other constituents, and make legacy data more accessible to agencies and the public.
To implement the new system, we have been working on:
- Understanding the business need from both internal and end user’s perspectives, aka Need Analysis,
- Cleaning up our database, digitize our files and make it accessible to public, aka Digitization Project,
- Streamlining the process by eliminating paper submissions or manual processes, aka CRGIS Remote Data Entry.
Here’s few details on each of the above tasks:
SHPO Need Analysis Project:
To understand the PA SHPO’s business needs, consultants were hired in 2016 to gather functional, non-functional, system, and data requirements for the new system. They captured SHPO’s AS-IS requirements, performed Gap Analysis and provided requirements for the new system. The project was completed in June 2017 and an RFP was issued to hire a firm for the software development project.
SHPO Digitization Project:
To digitize our processes and files, we initiated an in-house scanning project. A team of 6 professionals were hired in October 2017 to work on this project. Their primary duties include but are not limited to – Data entering backlog files into CRGIS, scanning files and uploading them to CRGIS. Project is expected to be completed by December 2018.
CRGIS Remote Data Entry Project:
To eliminate the need for duplicate manual entry of data in to the system, a CRGIS data entry application update was released in August 2017 that allowed external users to submit resource and report data electronically. We are currently testing this process with selected user volunteers and will be rolling it out in stages. Stay tuned for that…
Stay tuned to our upcoming blogs, newsletters, and email announcements for more information about the CRGIS Remote Data Entry rollout plan and PA SHARE project status updates!