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About GRANIT

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.

GRANIT Mission

"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 Partners/Funding

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:

GRANIT Roots

One of the siting criteria updated by
OEP/CSRC in response to DOE.

Rock Mass Extent
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.

NH 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 $75,000.

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.

While 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.


CSRC EOS UNH Send Email to GRANIT Directoions to Morse Hall Contact Bar