Geographic Information Services
The mission of the Geographical Information Services Department is to provide geographic data and project services to the public, other County departments and government entities so they can make informed land use decisions and effectively manage emergency response services.
The Geographical Information Services (GIS) Department provides geographic data to help people locate, map, and analysis geographic information. The work involves creating and overlaying various layers such as parcels, addresses, and aerial photography within computer software. The result is then made available to people via interactive web maps, printed maps, and special software.
Land Use Impact
Beyond just finding places, our work helps users make informed land use decisions and effectively manage emergency response services. Our work was instrumental in the 2012 Land Use Analysis (PDF) project, which contains a wealth of useful data related to land use and growth patterns.
In 2011 we worked with the Gunnison Basin Sage-Grouse Strategic Committee to map priority habitat, which had never been adequately done in the past. After developing specialized software functions, we created the Habitat Prioritization Tool, which allows this group a means to immediately visualize changes to various weighting factors that are used to estimate sage-grouse habitat location. The resulting mapped habitat is now being used by the county, as well as federal and state agencies, to help manage the bird's long-term survival.
Unlike most county GIS Departments, we also provide a variety of special project services for the county. Most notably we help to facilitate private land conservation in order to create a desirable long-term land use pattern within the county. Sample projects include ongoing support to the Gunnison Valley Land Preservation Board, the Ranchland Process (a conservation oriented development alternative), and the Residential Density Transfer Program.
Mapping Data Layers
While the projects highlighted above were unique successes, the core of our work involves mapping data layers accurately and getting the information out to users efficiently and effectively. Much of our time is spent improving land parcels accuracy, especially in remote areas where little survey monument databases are available. We are excited to have the opportunity to work in an era when geographic data and software are constantly improving, allowing end users access to amazing geographic information.