Project Portfolio

Mauna Kea GIS
Geographical Information System Development for Mauna Kea, Hawaii

PCSI has been supporting the University of Hawaii’s Office of Mauna Kea Management (OMKM) for over five years in developing a Geographical Information System (GIS) to assist in managing the natural and cultural resources found on Mauna Kea, the highest mountain in Hawaii with a summit reaching 13,796 feet above sea level.

OMKM is responsible for managing resources on over 13,000 acres of land on Mauna Kea.  The mountain is the site of the world’s most advanced array of astronomical observatories and is home to critical natural resources and historic properties, many of which are found nowhere else.  To properly balance public use of the lands with protection and preservation of those resources, OMKM retained PCSI to develop a comprehensive GIS for Mauna Kea.

Using data collected through decades of research and survey work on Mauna Kea, PCSI has developed a comprehensive GIS that provides OMKM with tools invaluable to fulfilling its resource protection mission.  PCSI’s Mauna Kea database includes resource data, such as soil types, habitats, and historic properties, as well as development data including boundaries, roads, utilities and structures.  Much of the source data used in developing the Mauna Kea GIS was created prior to the advent of digital technology and required digital conversion by PCSI. 

The Mauna Kea GIS, although still in development, has proven valuable in efforts such as the recent development of a Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP) for the area, as well as selecting the location of new observatories to reduce potential environmental impacts.