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A Symbology Change Management Process. Why Have Standard Symbology?. Cost Effective Everyone uses same symbols No individual effort designing symbols Standard look and feel Relevant to the ground Cartographically well designed – communicate effectively Safety issue – closed roads, etc.

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why have standard symbology
Why Have Standard Symbology?
  • Cost Effective
    • Everyone uses same symbols
    • No individual effort designing symbols
  • Standard look and feel
    • Relevant to the ground
  • Cartographically well designed – communicate effectively
  • Safety issue – closed roads, etc.
why establish a symbology change management process now
Why Establish A Symbology Change Management Process Now?
  • What is different now than 5 years ago relative to symbology and text?
    • Data Center Migration creates a unified data and applications environment.
    • National Applications are maturing
      • Independent symbol sets don’t make sense any longer
    • Increasing need to be efficient & cost effective
    • Other agencies/partners are also addressing this issue.
      • Opportunity exists to create broadly accepted standards
the holy grail of symbology change management
The “Holy Grail” of Symbology Change Management
  • The change management process must:
    • Have a single, central point of contact
    • Be simple and easily understood
    • Be efficient
    • Engage/Include stakeholders interested in symbology
    • Be documented
    • Be marketed
who needs symbology change management
Who Needs Symbology Change Management
  • Stakeholders:
    • WO Program Areas
    • FSNRA’s
    • Regional GIS Coordinators
    • Regional Geospatial Services Programs
    • Others who have a management level interest in insuring consistent design and utilization of symbology.
  • Users:
    • The folks who actually design and build maps at the field level – the people applying symbols.
symbology clearinghouse
Symbology Clearinghouse
  • Create a symbology clearinghouse as the central source for all cartographic symbols.
    • Held at/by GSTC.
  • Initiate a screening process for adding existing symbology to clearinghouse
    • Develop a symbology committee
    • The symbology committee will develop screening process
    • Screen what we have – add to clearinghouse
proposed symbology change management process
Proposed Symbology Change Management Process

Request for symbol

(new, change, other)

FS Symbology


Assess need, coordinate with

requestor and stakeholder(s)



Does suitable

symbol exist?

Refer requestor to symbol




Refer request to GSTC

Portfolio Manager


GSTC performs work

Is symbol


Symbol added to symbol




to make this work
To Make This Work…
  • There must be buy in!
  • There are five components in the symbology change management process, each have distinct roles
    • GAC Cartography Focus Area Lead
    • FS Symbology Committee
    • Stakeholders
    • GSTC
    • Users
gac cartography focus area lead
GAC Cartography Focus Area Lead
  • Charter the FS Symbology Committee
  • Achieve buy-in from Stakeholders
  • Coordinate the design and implementation of the Symbology Change Management Process
  • Coordinate the documentation of the Symbology Change Management Process
  • Monitor Symbology Committee activity

FS Symbology Committee

  • Chaired by GSTC
  • Chartered by the GAC (Cartography Focus Area)
  • Members include representatives from WO Program areas and the FSNRAs and Regional Geospatial Groups
  • Maintain awareness of symbol sources and current FS requirements as listed in FS manuals and handbooks.
  • Identify and evaluate new requirements for map symbology submitted.
  • Coordinate communication
  • Pass requests for symbol creation or modification approved by the Symbology Committee to GSTC
stakeholder roles
Stakeholder Roles
  • Each WO staff unit, FSNRA, Detached Unit, or other stakeholder group will be required to:
    • Agree to support the process
    • Designate a symbology point of contact
  • Stakeholders in various WO staff groups are the symbology data stewards.
  • Stakeholder points of contact make decisions concerning requested new or changed symbology and text.
  • Changes involving several stakeholders will be mediated by the Symbology Committee.
gstc roles
GSTC Roles
  • Chair FS Symbology Committee
  • Administer the symbology change management process
  • Design and build symbology
  • Maintain symbology clearinghouse/


user roles
User Roles
  • Become familiar with standard symbology—at least know where to find it
  • Stop building non-standard symbols (build symbology only when necessary and vet it through the standard symbology process)
  • Utilize the change management process
    • Provide clear justification for requested changes or new symbology
  • Accept decisions developed through the change management process.
    • There will not be symbol police.
    • This process works only to the extent that users abide by decisions made within the change management process.
process documentation
Process Documentation
  • Once accepted and implemented, use of the Symbology Change Management Process will be documented in appropriate Forest Service manuals
  • The process will be maintained, and is expected to evolve over time
  • Changes to the process will be submitted to and adjudicated by the FS Symbology Committee.
    • The Symbology Committee will work with stakeholder contacts to gain agreement for changes in the process