This joint project delineated colonias, developed geospatial databases describing infrastructure and land
use, and established a framework for distributing World Wide Web-based GIS decision-support systems for the
sister-city areas. "Sister" or "twin" cities are those communities where a city in one country borders a city
in another, creating a large urban area separated by administrative boundaries.
To develop the GIS databases, we integrated data from The National Map (USGS), the U.S. Census Bureau, and
INEGI and worked with binational partners, including Federal, State, county, and town representatives, as well
as interested youth and advocacy groups. Each Web-based mapping site incorporates common-base data layers,
including transportation, digital orthophoto quadrangles (DOQs), digital raster graphics (DRGs), Landsat imagery,
colonia boundaries, hydrography, demographics, and geographic names.
The USGS is now working with Arizona State University (through a Southwest Consortium for Environmental Research
and Policy (SCERP) grant) and the University of Arizona, and this project is expanding
Publications and Websites:
Norman, Laura M., Donelson, Angela, Pfeifer, Edwin, and Lam, Alven H., 2006. Colonia Development and
Land Use Change in Ambos Nogales, United States-Mexican Border: U.S. Geological Survey Open File
Report 2006-1112. http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2006/1112
Hutchins, Jana, Keys, Eric, Lukinbeal, Chris, Aspinell, Richard, Norman, Laura, Watts, Chris,
Granado olivas, Alfredo, Declet, Juan, Judkins, Gabriel, Nelson, David, Mynt, Soe, Lara-Valencia,
Francisco, 2006, The First Step Towards an Integrated Arizona/Sonora Transborder GIS: Land Use and
Land Cover Data Development, Proceedings, 25th Annual ESRI International User Conference,
August 6-11, San Diego, California. (POSTER)
Lam, Alven H., Norman, Laura M., and Donelson, Angela J., 2006. Accessible Information Technology for
Equitable Community Planning, In Equity and Sustainable Development: Reflections from the U.S.-Mexican Border.
Ed.s: Clough-Riquelme, Jane and Rabago, Nora L. Bringas. Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder, CO.
Norman, Laura M., and Austin, Diane E., 2004, Unifying US-Mexico Sister Cities with Colonias GIS as a
Framework [abs.]: Arizona Geographic Information Council (AGIC) 2004 GIS Education and Training Symposium
at the Prescott Resort and Conference Center, October 27-29.
Norman, Laura M., Parcher, Jean W., and Lam, Alven H., 2004, Monitoring Colonias Along the U.S.-Mexico
Border: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet, USGS FS 2004-3070 -Colonias.
Norman, Laura M., Donelson, Angela, Pfeifer, Edwin, Lam, Alven H., and Osborn, Kenneth J., 2004, Analyses
of Urban Sprawl and Colonias Development in Douglas, Arizona & Agua Prieta, Sonora on the US-Mexico Border;
A Process Application using GIS and Remote Sensing: U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report: OF 2004-1212.
Norman, Laura M., Lam, Alven, Osborn, Kenneth, Donelson, Angela, and Pfeifer, Edwin, 2003, Mapping Colonias
Along the United States-Mexico Border: Proceedings, 22nd Annual ESRI International User Conference, July 6-11,
San Diego, California. (POSTER)