PA*IRIS/WIS Modernization Project


The Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey (BTGS) is pleased to announce that the Pennsylvania Internet Record Imaging System/Wells Information System (PA*IRIS/WIS) will soon be experiencing a major overhaul.

Project Scope

The modernization effort will include several tasks: (1) upgrading the current software used to run PA*IRIS; (2) enhancing the backend database to improve performance; (3) migration of scanned documents and digital data into a secure online environment where this information will be managed from this point onward; (4) creation of a new website through which users will log onto the new system; (5) implementation of a new solution to replace the “WIS” half of our existing system; (6) migration of geophysical logs into the secure online environment, replacing the need for the logs ftp site; (7) training users; and (8) troubleshooting and service support.  

Project Timing

The PA*IRIS/WIS modernization project began in earnest in February 2015, with requirements gathering, database migration testing, and other “behind the scenes” activities. This project will be implemented in phases, beginning with the document management system (PA*IRIS), then addressing the digital database (WIS), and finally, management of geophysical logs (logs ftp site).

Users will see the new document management portion of the system in the next few weeks, but in order to accomplish this, the existing PA*IRIS/WIS will need to be taken offline for a number of days. Based on current project progress, we anticipate that PA*IRIS/WIS will be unavailable to users beginning on or about Wednesday, May 20, 2015, and that the outage will continue for three to five business days. At that time, we will bring the existing system back online for users, although it will not be populated with new permits from that point forward (and therefore, be out-of-date with respect to new records as of about May 20). Currently, our projected “go live” timeframe for the new document management system is the first week of June 2015.

Although BTGS will begin the “WIS” half of the project this June, users will likely not be introduced to this part of the new system until late fall 2015. We intend to migrate geophysical logs into the new system during this timeframe as well.

BTGS will continue to support the existing PA*IRIS/WIS during the modernization process, and even for a time after the project is complete, although it will become out-of-date with respect to new permits as of about May 20, 2015. At some point, PA*IRIS/WIS will be taken offline permanently, so that everyone is working exclusively in the new system. Because the two systems will be operating simultaneously for a period of time, the Survey will give the new system both a unique moniker and web address to distinguish it from PA*IRIS/WIS.

The Survey will continue to support the existing geophysical logs ftp site during the modernization process. Unlike the existing PA*IRIS/WIS, however, the logs ftp site will continue to be populated with new images and LAS files during our modernization effort. Eventually, the logs ftp site will be taken offline for good, so that everyone will access these files using the new system.

System Support

Both the existing PA*IRIS/WIS and the new system will be managed by staff of BTGS’ Pittsburgh office. Kristin Carter will remain the technical/business manager of the system, and David Fletcher will remain your local IT point of contact.

Our Visitor Policy and Service Request Policy will remain unchanged during the transition to the new system. Please note, however, that: (1) WE STRONGLY URGE VISITORS TO CALL AHEAD if they plan to visit BTGS to access records, as PA*IRIS/WIS may be offline at times while we are working on standing up new system components; and (2) SERVICE REQUESTS MAY BE DELAYED due to system unavailability and/or document backlogs, and will prepared on a first-come, first-served basis. We thank you in advance for your patience during the transition period.

BTGS will continue to receive applications for new PA*IRIS/WIS members during the transition to our new system. If you have questions or would like to join the partnership, please contact David Fletcher at 412-442-5826.