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  2012 Solar Energy Development Programmatic EIS  
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Solar PEIS Maps

Frequently Asked Questions

Geographic Information System (GIS) Shapefiles

Data files used in the Solar PEIS analysis in GIS shapefile format available for experienced GIS users interested in detailed PEIS analysis.

Use the links below to download key spatial data used in the Solar PEIS analyses, for use in desktop GIS software that allows users to conduct sophisticated geospatial analyses. A GIS software application is required to use the data and is not supplied in these downloads. The shapefile format is supported by many commercial and open source GIS software applications.

Who Should Use the GIS Shapefiles and Why

The GIS shapefiles provide experienced GIS users with access to a wide variety of spatial data through commercial desktop mapping software that runs on their PCs, not on the Internet. After downloading, an Internet connection is not required to view and use the data; however, the data downloads for the shapefiles are very large. Users with the required software can interact with the geospatial data, and run sophisticated spatial analyses. Considerable expertise is required to use GIS software, which often requires a commercial license. The data included may be downloaded for other uses, but only provide a “snapshot” of data used for the PEIS, and will not be updated or expanded after the PEIS is completed.

Final Solar PEIS Data Files

The "core" data download includes boundaries of the BLM alternatives as presented in the Final Solar PEIS, boundaries of protected lands and other areas excluded from solar energy development under one or more of the alternatives, and base data such as state boundaries, towns, and roads.

The "extended" data download includes all of the "core" data as well as the Public Land Survey System (principal meridians, townships, and sections) for the six state area.

A listing of data layers included in both the "core" and "extended" data downloads is available.

GIS Data Files for the Final Solar PEIS: The following files are compressed Zip file archives containing multiple files. PLEASE NOTE: These files are extremely large and may involve long download times.

NOTE: Additional SEZs and changes to exclusions made subsequent to release of the Solar PEIS Record of Decision in October 2012 are not included in these GIS data files. For updated GIS data, please refer to the BLM Solar Program website GIS Shape Files page.

GIS Zip file (347 MB)
GIS Zip file (484 MB)

(Note that a change from the Draft Solar PEIS is that otherwise appropriate areas of less than 1 km2 are now included under the BLM program alternative. Addition of these areas sometimes results in the appearance of long polygons which have almost no width when the data is displayed at larger scales. These line segments are the result of inaccuracies due to digitizing errors, difference in source materials, or datum shifts in the varied geospatial datasets used in developing the alternatives.)

Areas Identified for Exclusion Following Publication of the Supplement

Specific areas were identified for exclusion from solar development by the BLM following the publication of the Supplement to the Draft Solar PEIS, these areas were identified on the basis of continued consultation with cooperating agencies and tribes to protect sensitive natural, visual, and cultural resources. These areas total 1,066,497 acres (4,316 km2). A GIS layer for these exclusions is provided below.

Note: Original data layer provided was incorrect and has been replaced. As of Sept. 14, 2012 the layer provided below is correct.

GIS Zip file (1.4 MB)

Two additional data layers are available to support the Final Solar PEIS; these are a GIS layer for FWS-identified priority desert tortoise connectivity and conservation areas and a GIS layer for NPS-identified high potential resource conflict areas. These data sets are available below.

New Data for FWS Identified Priority Desert Tortoise Connectivity Areas:

GIS Zip file (8.10 MB)

New Data for NPS Identified High Potential Resource Conflict Areas and Resource Conditions:

GIS Zip file (53.5 MB)
GIS Zip file (431 MB)
GIS Zip file (118 MB)

Data Files for the Draft Solar PEIS and the Supplement to the Draft Solar PEIS

GIS Data Files for the Draft Solar PEIS: The following files are compressed Zip file archives containing multiple files. PLEASE NOTE: These files are extremely large and may involve long download times.


GIS Zip file (329 MB)
GIS Zip file (465 MB)

Data Updates Provided in the Supplement to the Draft Solar PEIS: GIS data for lands available under the various BLM alternatives and for specially designated areas (e.g., Areas of Critical Environmental Concern [ACECs], Special Recreation Management Areas [SRMAs], and National Monuments) were updated for the Supplement to the Draft Solar PEIS. The revised data are available in the shapefile provided below.

GIS Zip file (59.7 MB)

PLEASE NOTE: Geodatabases are the native format used in the Solar PEIS database. Geospatial data in geodatabase format is available for use in ArcReader software.

Need Help? Have Questions?

If you experience any problem downloading these files, need assistance, or have questions about the PEIS maps or mapping data, please contact the Webmaster at [email protected]

PLEASE NOTE: This website does not provide technical support for GIS software, and questions related to installation or operation of these software programs will not be answered.