Friday, June 29, 2012

GIS In City Government

Yesterday the Iowa GIS Service Bureau had the opportunity to tour the GIS and dispatch facilities operated by the city of West Des Moines.  Chad Olson and Lawrence Hartpence of West Des Moines offered to show the Service Bureau around and explain how GIS data is collected, processed, and used on a city level.  It was a great visit!

The city boundaries stretch into four counties and the office shares data with multiple regional groups.  Anyone who has attempted to seamlessly combine data from multiple jurisdictions knows the hurdles and occasional headaches from working with data that originates from different sources, but the city's GIS staff seems to be handling it very well.   (Below is a screen shot of the city's dispatch system.  It contains roads, parcels, address points, select landcover, response vehicle locations, incident locations, and any other data dispatch personnel need.)

Seeing the data flow from collection to end use on a city level introduced a new perspective on data needs and data creation.  With any luck that perspective will help influence the Service Bureau's future ideas and projects.

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