US Army Corps of Engineers
Army Geospatial Center Website Website

Environmental Analysis

U.S. Army Geospatial Center
Published May 30, 2019
Updated: May 30, 2019
Historical Photo Analysis

Historical Photo Analysis

Before and after

Before and after



The Army Geospatial Center (AGC), Environmental Analysis Group (EAG) conducts Geographic Information System (GIS) based Historical Photographic Analysis (HPA) of current, former and closing U.S. military installations and training areas. EAG also analyzes aerial photography and elevation data to address environmental concerns related to land use change, such as historical wetland evaluation, shoreline change, watershed/land use mapping, and produces a variety of baseline environmental analysis. HPA helps our customers address environmental concerns related to previous military and industrial activities. The HPA allows customers to focus restoration and remediation efforts, resulting in significant cost avoidance.

The identification and remediation of hazardous sites is a problem faced by many active, closing, and former U.S. military installations. These problems are complicated by the fact that many of these sites were created by practices and activities undertaken decades ago. These hazardous sites are often completely obscured today due to the burial of materials, rapid revegetation, or dramatic changes in land use. AGC’s Environmental Analysis Group uses historical aerial photography and satellite imagery, both CONUS and OCONUS, to locate potential sites of environmental contamination [e.g. chemical warfare material (CWM), unexploded ordnance (UXO), radioactive material, or landfill locations]. In addition to locating potential contamination sites, the group conducts GIS-based Historical Photogeologic Analyses for areas where groundwater contamination is a concern. For example, locating surface features, such as rock fractures, that can influence the migration of contaminants.

Key Capabilities

An interdisciplinary team (geologists, geographers, photogrammetrists, and historians) provides Environmental Analysis in support of Defense Environmental Restoration Program (DERP), Installation Restoration Program (IRP), Formerly Used Defense Sites (FUDS), Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), and Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP), and Superfund program site investigations. GIS allow a customer to view multi-layer, "time-sequenced" data in a digital environment. Access to key government, private, and scholastic repositories in the National Capital Region, as well as regional repositories close to the project site, equips EAG with a wealth of historical data in order to create a comprehensive understanding of all activities at the site.

The deliverables resulting from the detailed archival research and multi-temporal analysis include summary reports, georeferenced and orthorectified imagery, maps, textual records, detailed vector layer analysis and photographic presentations. Each HPA study is designed to meet the unique requirements of the requestor.

EAG has completed projects ranging in size from a few acres to over 600 square miles. These projects save those managing the cleanup both time and money by refining search areas for environmental investigation, enabling more precise targeting and planning of site investigations and geophysical surveys.

Points of Contact

Customer requests for information are handled by the Environmental Analysis Team: (703) 428-3626,

Environmental Analysis Request Form: