GIS in Ontario County
The Ontario County Planning and Research Department took the lead with GIS efforts in Ontario County beginning in the early 1990s. Through the Planning Department's efforts, GIS has become an important tool for a number of County departments including Real Property Tax, the Sheriff's Department, 911, and Public Works.
Recognizing the growing interest in and need for spatial information by so many county and municipal workers as well as the general public, a new County GIS Coordinator position was established in 2012 and the program shifted to the Information Services Department to provided centralized administrative and support functions for the County's many users and applications.
In additional to providing technical services its municipalities and other county departments, our staff also handles data, analysis and custom mapping requests for the public and private sectors, as well as educational outreach efforts and collaborative partnerships with local and state organizations.
What is GIS?
A Geographic Information Systems (GIS) consists of a database, map information, and a computer-based link between them. It is in essence a computer-based tool for mapping and analyzing places and events that have this geographic / spatial component.
Since an overwhelming majority of data used in everyday work has a geographic / spatial component (i.e. an address, or a latitude / longitude coordinate), almost all human activity and natural phenomena can be studied using a GIS.
GIS technology integrates common database operations such as query and statistical analysis with the visual and geographic benefits offered by maps. These abilities distinguish GIS from other information systems and graphics software. The analytical component of GIS makes it a valuable tool in public and private enterprises for planning strategies, explaining events, and modeling future events.