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 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.
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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.
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