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City of Alexandria, VA City of Alexandria, VA
GIS & Maps
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Page updated Jun 29, 2015 8:50 AM
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Welcome to the City of Alexandria's GIS (Geographic Information Systems) site. The site endeavors to educate the public about Alexandria's current and future uses of GIS technology.  The GIS team strives to bring together accurate and up to date geographic information in an easy to use format, while increasing the efficiency of city government.  Please spend a few minutes browsing our excellent new features, tools, and maps.  Feel free to also take a look at the Quick Links on the right, which contain more maps, data, and other information.  For questions, comments, or suggestions regarding this site, please contact us.

GIS Mission Statement: Enable the City to improve communication and decision-making to ultimately better serve the public through the efficient use of Geographic Information.



What's New & Coming Soon in the GIS Division? 

  • Open Data announcement 
    The City of Alexandria’s GIS Division has opened its brand-new  GIS Open Data Portal. This application will allow you to download our data in ESRI's shapefile (.shp) format, as well as other formats (including CSV for tables and spreadsheets, KML (XML) and API) for free. Please note that this new site is a work in progress which will continue to evolve. We are always working to continue to add new data sets, improve open data portal usability and will strive to continue to add new and improved content.

    The City of Alexandria’s GIS dataset is now available to download for free. Please see the “Data documentation” links or our available data page for detailed information about what’s included.

  • Standard and Interactive Maps
    You can always view our standard maps for printing and our interactive maps for instant, on-the-go browsing at any time by viewing our Standard Maps and Interactive Maps pages!

  • GIS Application Usability Testing Final Report
    See the final report on our public usability testing of our brand new interactive maps. The report explains who we spoke to and how your feedback influenced the application design.
     


What is GIS?

GIS is a technology that links geographic information (features) with descriptive information (attributes). GIS can be described as having multiple layers of data assembled into a digital map. GIS is a dynamic service, which means that the user can interact with the map rather than just looking at it.  This greatly increases it's variety of uses – GIS allows the user to visualize, explore, query, edit, and analyze geographic information.  When you look at our Interactive Maps page, you are interacting with maps built with GIS.  Below is an animated image of how a GIS is built.

One of the most valuable aspects of GIS is how data can be analyzed spatially. Spatial querying is the process of selecting features based on location or spatial relationship. The animated image below illustrates how a user can quickly identify all addresses within 500 feet of a Metro stop.



 

To learn more about GIS, please visit http://www.gis.com/whatisgis/index.html.



Our Role in Alexandria City Government

The GIS Division is responsible for identifying geographic mapping and analysis needs for the City. Coordination with many City of Alexandria departments, such as Real Estate, Planning & Zoning, Police, Fire, and Transportation & Environmental Services, ensures that geographic data is maintained consistently from a single source. Some examples of this successful coordination include the conversion of paper-copy tax maps into digital parcels, analyzing population shifts for the redistricting of the Alexandria Public School Board, and development of interactive mapping applications such as a snow mapping application that provides the ability to track the City's snow removal activities in times of snowfall events.



GIS 5 Year Strategic Plan

The GIS Strategic Plan is a roadmap for making best use of the City's investment in GIS technology. GIS has enormous potential to help the City better understand the populations we serve, maintain our infrastructure, more effectively share and analyze information to make decisions, and more clearly communicate with each other and the public. The Strategic Plan was developed with guidance from a committee of senior level decision makers along with GIS power users and GIS staff, and informed by GIS stakeholders citywide. 

For more information or any questions you may have, please contact us.