Scott County Geographic Information System
Focus group meeting after our GIS Strategic Plan Kick-off event.
Did You Know…
Geographically, Iowa is one of the flattest states in the US.
What Is A Geographic Information System (GIS)?
"A geographic information system (GIS) integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.” as defined by http://www.GIS.com
GIS is a way for people to know more about the world around them and to use that information to make better decisions for themselves and their surroundings. For Scott County, GIS helps departments to locate and identify their resources, and make better decisions for the residents and consumers of their services.
“Knowing where things are, and why, is essential to rational decision making”
Jack Dangermond - President, Chief Executive Officer, and Co-Founder of Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)
How We Started:
In 2003, the Scott County Board of Supervisors, the County Administrator, and the GIS Steering Committee with the support of various departments, determined that the County needed a coordinated effort to build a countywide, enterprise Geographic Information System (GIS). In following with the County’s vision, the GIS Division has grown from an idea, into a tool used by many departments within the county.
What We Do:
Through several different software solutions, we are able to provide an evolving enterprise wide GIS system. Using Desktop, Server (web), and Mobile (GPS field data collection) GIS software, GIS is quickly becoming an asset to Scott County.
Scott County’s entire GIS is run on a suite of software from ESRI, the world’s largest leaders in GIS technology. A combination of Desktop (ArcGIS Desktop), Mobile (ArcPad), and Server (ArcGIS Server) solutions are helping to shape the County’s vision of an enterprise GIS become a reality.
Currently, the County maintains a total of 13 licenses of ESRI’s ArcGIS Desktop software. Three of these licenses are at the ArcInfo level, and the remaining 10 licenses are at the ArcView level. There an additional 10 to 15 users who are set up with ESRI’s free ArcReader GIS data viewer. County employees who have the software installed are able to view, query, and/or edit spatial data and information from their work areas.
Mobile GIS and GPS (Global Positioning System) capabilities are handled through one of the County’s seven Trimble GPS units. We have one Geo XH, four Trimble GEO XT, and two GEO XM Handheld GPS units that are owned by the County. The Geo XH unit, under normal conditions with the H-Star technology enabled, can capture and locate features within one foot of their real world position. The XT units, under normal conditions, capture and locate features within one meter of their real world position while the XM units, under normal conditions, capture and locate features within 2 to 5 meters of their real world position. Two of the GEO XT and both of the GEO XM units are utilized by the Environmental group of the Scott County Health Department. Our Conservation departments at West Lake Park have GEO XT unit while Scott County Park uses the Geo XH. The remaining unit is available through a “Check Out” procedure and can be used by any County department as needed. All units are loaded up with ESRI’s ArcPad software.
Other software licensing from ESRI includes two licenses of ESRI’s ArcGIS Server Enterprise Standard software which the County is actively preparing for launch. This software will allow Scott County to provide certain GIS data and information for free to anyone with an internet connection. There will be no software requirements other than a web browser. An internal application will be launched first, with a public application to follow shortly after.
The GIS team at Scott County is comprised of two full time GIS staff members: a GIS Coordinator and a GIS Analyst. Our Parcel Maintenance Data Technician is based out of the Auditor’s office, but also contributes significantly to the County’s overall GIS goals.As a part of the Information Technology Department, the GIS team is fully assisted by a team of 10 programmers, network specialists, web developer, and support staff. This vast array of knowledge helps in the County’s ability to provide GIS data to its users in fast, effective, and easy to understand methods.