Geographic Information System
GIS in Allamakee County
In 1997, Allamakee County first embarked on a plan to develop and implement a Geographic Information System. Then in 2002, the County entered into a contract with ProMap, a division of the Schneider Corporation, for the creation of several datasets including, but not limited to, lots, parcels, road and railroad centerlines, rights of way, voting districts, school districts, and drainage districts as well as the hosting of the County GIS website. During this time, the Assessor’s Office also budgeted for and hired a GIS Coordinator whose responsibility is to create, manage, maintain, and update geographic information relative to Allamakee County. Starting in April 2006, the contract with ProMap has been completed, and Allamakee County now has sole responsibility for maintaining, updating, and creating new datasets for the GIS system. Schneider Corporation continues to host the Allamakee County GIS website.
What is GIS?
The term “Geographic Information System” (commonly referred to as “GIS”) refers to a collection of digital information technologies capable of sorting and analyzing spatial and non-spatial data. A GIS is composed of computer hardware and software, and array of data that may include maps, databases, photographs, and scanned document images. Several “layers” of data can be displayed at one time allowing the viewer to see patterns or relationships between the datasets.
A GIS can produce information that answers specific questions and allows one to share that information with others. By visualizing relationships, connections, and patterns in data, one can make informed decisions and increase efficiency for the county. The features and benefits of a well-structured GIS are enormous. The volume of data that can be collected, classified and ranked, and analyzed is unlimited. The county and municipal uses of data in a GIS can be equally unlimited. Some examples include land records management, E-911 dispatch assistance, hydrology analysis, demographic projection, and voter registration.