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Geographic Information Services

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
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The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Division provides the City of Blaine, and the public, with City information in a visual format.

What is GIS?

GIS is the short name for Geographic Information Systems; it is sometimes called Geospatial Information Systems. GIS uses software, hardware, data, and people to manage, analyze and display many forms of information. The analysis and display of information is used in many ways throughout the City.

  • Interactive Maps – these let people use a web browser on their phone, computer, or other personal device to see information about the City of Blaine. People can turn layers on and off, and search for properties or amenities.
  • Printable Maps – these are PDF's that can be downloaded to save or print. People may also come in to City Hall to buy the maps.
  • Analysis – we look at infrastructure data, events, and projects to produce reports for City staff. Some examples are: how many miles of street are plowed, how many miles of trails there are, how many calls for service happen in a neighborhood, or how many acres of park land are in the City.
  • Custom Applications – GIS is more than just data. GIS is also how we make data available. People within the City need fast access to data to perform work, or to respond to emergencies. Custom applications can be built - for use in the field or office - to access information, track work, or help people find things.
  • Data Management – this is the way information is stored and cataloged for use. GIS works with other agencies to make sure the data is maintained and shared. A piece of data management is metadata. Metadata is like a biography for datasets. Metadata describes what the data is, who made it, who maintains it, and how old it is.
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