The New Hampshire Geographically Referenced Analysis and Information Transfer System (NH GRANIT) is a cooperative project to create, maintain, and make available a statewide geographic data base serving the information needs of state, regional, and local decision-makers. A collaborative effort between the University of New Hampshire and the NH Office of Energy and Planning, the core GRANIT System is housed at the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space in Durham. It includes a geographic database, hardware and software to build, manage, and access the database, and a staff of experts knowledgeable in geographic information systems, image processing, and computer analysis. In addition to database development and maintenance, the GRANIT staff offers a range of application development, training, and related technical services to GIS users in the state and the region.
The GRANIT approach to a statewide GIS depends upon the cooperative efforts of a host of agencies, collaborating on various elements of database design and construction as well as application development. The collaboration occurs formally through the NH GIS Advisory Committee, and informally through daily interactions between the growing body of GIS users in the state and the region.
"To promote the efficient use of New Hampshire's diverse resources by utilizing spatial information in an effective way and by providing geographic information and related tools to citizens and organizations."
GRANIT receives core funding on an annual basis from one or more state agencies. The FY2009 core funding sources are:
GRANIT also receives targeted project funding from several organizations and agencies, currently including:
One of the siting criteria updated by
OEP/CSRC in response to DOE.
In 1984, the NH Office of Energy and Planning (OEP, formerly the
Office of State Planning) established a cooperative project with the
University of New Hampshire's Complex Systems Research Center (CSRC) to
apply computer mapping to land use planning and resource management
problems. One of the first efforts undertaken was to prepare the
State's response to the US Department of Energy (DOE), which had
identified an area in Hillsborough, NH as a potential repository for
high level nuclear waste. With state partners, CSRC and OEP used GIS
tools to compile and analyze data sets, and to demonstrate that the NH
site was not eligible if the DOE selection criteria were applied to
current, locally available data. The map to the right, generated with
"home-grown" software tools, was included in a June, 1986 report to
DOE, and shows our early grid cell matrix approach to refining the
input criteria to the analysis.
GRANIT was formally established in the spring/summer of 1985 as a
continuing collaboration between OEP and CSRC. An August, 1985 memo
documents the acquisition and installation of the Arc/Info software, as
described in a subsequent news release.
Retail cost of the software at that time: $100,000! However, as CSRC
was already a PRIME minicomputer shop running the INFO database
software, we got a "price break" and paid only the modest sum of
In addition to continuing work on the DOE project, early
GRANIT efforts focused on assisting in developing a lake management
plan for the Squam Lake Watershed, in automating and managing statewide
groundwater resource maps, and in supporting the economic impacts
analysis of a proposed highway between Franklin and Laconia.
GRANIT was evolving at CSRC and OEP, other state agencies were also
exploring GIS technologies. In the late 1980's, DES and DOT were among
the earlier adopters of GIS systems. By 1988, New Hampshire had
established a GIS Advisory Committee as a subcommittee of the Council
on Resources and Economic Development. The Committee sought to assist
in coordinating state and federal GIS activities in New Hampshire, in
developing mapping standards, and in recommending standards to CORD,
and in facilitating interagency cooperation. And in the spring of 1988,
a bill introduced in the N.H. House of Representatives was signed by
the Governor to provide funds for the state's regional planning
commissions to purchase GIS software and the required hardware. GIS had
become recognized as an integral tool to planners and resource
management professionals in the state.