A program designed for point location and calculation of error (PLACER) was developed as part of the Quality Assurance Program of the Federal Highway Administration/U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) National Data and Methodology Synthesis (NDAMS) review process. The program provides a standard method to derive study-site locations from site maps in highwayrunoff, urban-runoff, and other research reports. This report provides a guide for using PLACER, documents methods used to estimate study-site locations, documents the NDAMS Study-Site Locator Form, and documents the FORTRAN code used to implement the method.
PLACER is a simple program that calculates the latitude and longitude coordinates of one or more study sites plotted on a published map and estimates the uncertainty of these calculated coordinates. PLACER calculates the latitude and longitude of each study site by interpolating between the coordinates of known features and the locations of study sites using any consistent, linear, user-defined coordinate system. This program will read data entered from the computer keyboard and(or) from a formatted text file, and will write the results to the computer screen and to a text file. PLACER is readily transferable to different computers and operating systems with few (if any) modifications because it is written in standard FORTRAN. PLACER can be used to calculate study site locations in latitude and longitude, using known map coordinates or features that are identifiable in geographic information data bases such as USGS Geographic Names Information System, which is available on the World Wide Web.