County's GIS Program Receives 'Best of Breed' Award


Office of Public Affairs
12000 Government Center Parkway, Suite 551
Fairfax, VA 22035-0065
703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935, FAX 703-324-2010

Oct. 10, 2003

 

County's GIS Program Receives 'Best of Breed' Award

 

Fairfax County’s GIS program received a “Best of Breed” award in the 2003 Digital Counties Survey. This survey and award recognition was conducted by the Center for Digital Government, in partnership with the National Association of Counties. CDG is an international research and advisory institute on information technology.

This survey, underwritten by Microsoft Corp., was open to applications from all counties in the United States. Awards were given to the nine top counties for their technology-savvy projects that improved government operations and customer service to their citizens.

“We’ve implemented an infrastructure that makes GIS widely available in the county,” said
Thomas Conry, branch manager of the GIS Branch of the Department of Information Technology.
“We now have nearly 400 layers of information and it’s growing. We’ve worked with different agencies to enable them to understand GIS and integrate it into their operations.”

The majority of county agencies now use GIS or GIS products as part of their operations. Some of the ways agencies have used GIS to improve operations include:
• Part of the planning response to the West Nile virus threat (Health Department).
• Digitized bus routes for transit planning (Department of Transportation).
• Direct digital updating and a new data structure for digitally storing the parcel and zoning data that enables users to view the status of county property maps online at any time.
• A pioneering and award-winning project with the Virginia Department of Transportation to jointly maintain street center line information. This data sharing helped the response to Hurricane Isabel and will be used to aid snow plowing effectiveness.
• Dramatically accelerated the analysis and display of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance project, enabling citizens to view results over the Internet as the project proceeds, rather than many months afterward.

Citizens also benefit from the GIS technology. Anyone can use the following GIS products and services by visiting the county’s Web site at www.fairfaxcounty.gov and clicking on the Maps, Facts and Stats section:
• Map Gallery: Find many of the common maps that are produced by the GIS & Mapping Department. The maps are letter-size and available in many formats for downloading and printing.
• Aerial/Ortho Photo Viewer: View Fairfax County by jumping to one of the predefined “points of interest,” or panning and zooming to any part of the county.
• DTA Parcel Finder: Find detailed information about property and view that parcel with the parcel viewer along with an aerial photograph of the area. This application now serves over 2 million map views per year.
• Fairfax Time Machine: Pick a highlighted area of the map to see an animation of that area from 1937 to 1990.
• Digital Map Viewer: Over 2,200 highly detailed maps are available for free viewing, downloading and printing. These maps include property data, the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance – Resource Protection Areas, contours, building outlines and zoning information. These maps are updated daily as changes occur. Some of these maps were never publicly available before, and those that were, were only updated annually. Those map books cost over $60. Over 41,000 detailed maps were viewed over the past year.
• Free GIS Data: Selected sets of GIS data are available for download for use with GIS software.

Individuals, businesses and organizations that are interested in detailed, up-to-date county GIS data for use with GIS software can purchase that data on CD from the GIS office. Information is available at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/maps/cd.htm.

For more information about the county’s GIS program, contact the GIS Front Desk at 703-324-2712, TTY 711.

 

 

FAIRFAX COUNTY IS COMMITTED TO A POLICY OF NONDISCRIMINATION IN ALL COUNTY PROGRAMS, SERVICES AND ACTIVITIES AND WILL PROVIDE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS UPON REQUEST. TO REQUEST SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS, CALL 703-324-3187, TTY 703-324-2935. PLEASE ALLOW FIVE WORKING DAYS IN ADVANCE OF EVENTS IN ORDER TO MAKE THE NECESSARY ARRANGEMENTS

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