The mission of the GIS Division is to lead in the management of a shared geographic information resource for local decision makers and the general public, to support County GIS users, to develop precision site/user specific applications, and to share information, ideas, strategies, and solutions in the management of GIS and related technologies, in order to provide more efficient and effective mapping services to Frederick County's agencies and constituents.
The Vision of the Geographic Information Systems Division, for Frederick County, Virginia, is to provide a fully operational County-wide Geographic Information System (GIS) that is used by every agency, department, or citizen that needs and uses spatial data; that improves organization operations and efficiency; that exceeds the high accuracy and standards required by today's State and Federal guidelines; that improves the professional image of the County in the world of GIS; that encourages participating users to excel in seeking out new technologies; and to build expertise and teamwork to improve decision making within the County of Frederick.
The Manager of the Frederick County GIS will strive to ensure that all employees of the department recognize and adhere to Frederick County's Core Values:
- To understand the importance of clear communication and the willingness to listen through respect, honesty, trust, and integrity.
- To respect the County's cultural diversity and provide effective and efficient service with dependability, a willingness to accept change and dedication to cost effectiveness.
- To formulate and apply regulations, policies and procedures that are fair, consistent, and flexible.
- To provide a safe and secure working environment for our professional employees.
- To work diligently on providing county citizens with an accurate and efficient structure numbering system that will ensure timely response during emergencies and times of need.
- To be accountable and dedicated in responsibly conducting county business and properly handling funding appropriated for the GIS budget.
- To work diligently in providing options and future planning for GIS advancement.
- To provide a GIS system that promotes equality, patriotism, freedom, and genuine concern for all of Frederick County's citizens.
Division DescriptionGeographic Information Systems (GIS) are designed to merge the capabilities of digital mapping and databases into a "thinking" cooperation which allows inter-relational query, design, and information display. The current GIS Team consists of a core group tending the GIS needs for the county-wide system and disbursed or satellite positions supporting specific departmental GIS efforts. The Division of GIS includes a manager, an analyst/programmer, a technician and provides leadership and support in the development of the County's GIS system. Satellite positions providing task specific support at the departmental level include a GIS Analyst in the Real Estate Department, a GIS Technician in Public Safety and a GIS Analyst working for the Department of Planning and Development.
The GIS Division is the responsible agent in providing structure numbering for county citizens and maintaining the County's Road Naming and Structure Numbering System. The Road Name Database is maintained by this office. Staff members approve requests for new names, review requests for name changes, road name removal and make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors for action. The GIS Division also assists in coordination of road names with Planning and Development, Public Works, Emergency Services, public utilities and other agencies. Numbering requests are received through the Building Permit process and GIS staff assign new numbers or resolve numbering issues.
The daily activities of the GIS Division involve development and production of geo-referenced data through the creation of digital mapping and database information from a multitude of resources including State, Federal, private concerns, and in-house sources. Through a system of "concurrent" or multiuser GIS software maintained by the GIS Division, other County staff can access a standardized set of digitally mapped information in county-wide formats. This series of mapping data includes such information as parcels, zoning, cultural features, environmental, historic, aerial photography, contours, and transportation network information.
Database management, consolidation and redundance reduction are primary functions involved in GIS management. Additional division responsibilities include introduction to GIS, training, and future development of other department and agency end-users to the GIS environment.A primary task of the GIS Division is the development and maintenance of the ArcIMS based interactive-mapping hosted through the County's web site. These Interactive mapping services provide the public with access to such data sources as environmental, historical, political, utility, aerial photography, parcel and services type information. By using a standard web browser, i.e. Internet Explorer or Netscape, citizens may access valuable county data from their business or home without additional software or computer capability other than what the user already has. Initiatives are under way to improve the web services and update the ESRI software.
Top of the line computers in the high-end Pentium IV class with high memory and storage capacity are used to manipulate the GIS Data and controlling software. Information Services (IS) houses the GIS data and provides access through the County's Lan. Daily conversions of the AS 400 CAMRA file and daily back-ups of the GIS data are conducted by IT. A PC currently manages the web based interactive mapping in the Department of GIS through connections to the net via access with Information Services.Hewlett-Packard 1050C color large-format inkjet plotters capable of full color and photographic grade plots are housed in the Departments of GIS, Planning, Real Estate, and the School Transportation office. Plots of up to 33 'x 44' are a daily occurrence. LaserJet printers provide fast and efficient letter size documents and maps. A color laser printer has been installed in the GIS Dept. and is connected to the network, allowing GIS end-users throughout the County network to access and mass produce 81/2'x11'; color plots without having to hand feed each sheet.
GIS staff and end-users rely on the ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc.) "family" of software to accomplish the simple and the complex tasks applied to Frederick County's GIS. This set of GIS software known as ArcGIS includes ArcExplorer, ArcView, ArcInfo, ArcEditor, ArcPress, Spatial Analyst, MapPlex, and Network Analyst. Using ArcIMS and Freeance, an Interactive Mapping services of general GIS data and photography is provided through County web site. This year's upgrades to ArcSDE, ArcServer and SQL will bring the County's GIS system into the "mainstream" by converting datasets into the "geodatabase" environment of mapping with an emphasis on relational editing and database management.
The department is well versed in a medley of non-GIS software packages including: Visual Basic, PageMaker, Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, Power Point, Presentations, Word Perfect, dBase, Lotus 123, Approach, MrSID, AutoCAD, Corel Draw, Quatro Pro, Graphics Workshop, Dreamweaver, Terra Sync, Active Sync, Crystal Reports, Calendar Creator, Photo House, HTML, and Adobe Acrobat.
DataThe County's datasets are currently maintained in ESRI shapefiles, and projected in State Plane Virginia North NAD83. This data set is currently built in individual themes or layers with specialized sets of master data disbursed to controlling departments. Having this system format hampers system integration and reduction of duplication efforts.
The GIS Division and the GIS Core Group are making upgrades to system software, hardware and methodology. The main objective is to take the current disbursed data, migrate it all to a geodatabase format and use a standardized database system. Through these actions, the masses of data will be centralized and staff members will have the capability of multi-user "relational" editing through a data administrator. Centralized master files will be housed in a secure location with daily backups. Data updates will be available in a "real time" or at least timely manner and eliminate unnecessary duplication of data or efforts. The data administrator will be feeding the most current and relevant data from the same sources to all editors and end-users.
Frederick County's GIS staff are capable of an extremely wide variety of tasks, problem solving, paper or digital production, formats, and programming. These capabilities include:
- Whether it is a simple graphic or a complex query, taking a concept and running it through the complete planning, development, and production phases, including final production, the GIS staff has 57 years of combined training and experience in layout and design, cartography, GPS, and programming;
- Production of complex mapping and digital information analysis using multiple data sets;
- Complex analysis of "related" mapping and databases to provide more accurate and comprehensive information to be used in an "informed decision making" process;
- Software customization per individual or department request to accomplish repetitive everyday tasks, streamlining query and research, and simplification of complex tasks into a window driven menu environment;
- Conversion and use of various mapping/data formats and coordinate systems. Ability to obtain mapping information from State and Federal agencies and re-project it into matching system variables used by Frederick County GIS;
- Pre-printed standard information or custom data collection and production;
- Production of digital data via diskette, CD or DVD.