What is GIS?
A geographic information system (GIS) uses computer technology and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all types of information. It gives us a new way to look at the world around us. Using a GIS, you can look at data, understand it and ask different questions to better understand and interpret the data. You can visualize data which can show relationships between data, patterns and trends. Detailed information can be generated by maps, reports and even charts. For instance, if you look at a table listing all the robberies that occurred in the City during a specific period of time, you wouldn't be able to see any patterns or trends. If you were to look at the same information on a map, you could possibly see a pattern forming within a certain neighborhood and then use that information to put more Police Officers in that particular area.
The biggest benefits of GIS are:
- Cost savings and increased efficiency - We can divide our crews into geographic areas to better maintain the street and medians.
- Better Decision Making - We can locate our police officers and code enforcement officers in areas needing more attention.
- Improved communications - Improves communication between different teams, departments, organizations and the public.
- Better record keeping
- Managing Geographically - To better serve the community, we are managing our infrastructure based on a geographic place. Once we understand, we develop an plan of action.
How is the City using GIS?
GIS is being utilized by practically every department in the City. Parks and Recreation uses it to give location maps to their various parks. The Utility Department uses it to locate manholes, valves, water lines, etc. and then use work order information to determine which assets need to be replaced. The City Clerk's Office uses it to respond to public requests for maps. The Fire Department uses it to locate fire hydrants during an emergency and critical facilities for pre-fire planning. The Police Department uses it to create perimeters and identify crime patterns leading to intelligent lead policing. The Transportation Department uses it to find the best routing to accommodate all citizen requests. Our Code Enforcement team is using GIS to track citation inspections. These are just a few examples of what is being done.