Geographic Information Services
The Geographic Information Services Department provides support to all Marshall County departments. Our goal is to help increase the efficiency and productivity of Marshall County through the implementation of Geographic Information System (GIS) applications and technology.
What is a Geographic Information System (GIS)?
A geographic information system (GIS) is a computer system capable of assembling, storing, manipulating, and displaying geographically referenced information (i.e. spatial data). This system should include:
- hardware (computers, printers, plotters, scanners, digitizers, GPS units, etc.)
- software (programs like ArcInfo, ArcView, MapInfo, Maptitude, AutoCad Map, GeoMedia, etc.)
- data (files that may be loaded into the software programs, such as roads, town boundaries, parcels, aerial photographs, etc.)
- staff (analysts, technicians, etc.)
Geographic information systems belong to a family of mapping and drafting programs that includes computer-aided design (CAD) and automated mapping and facilities management (AM/FM). GIS is distinguished from CAD and AM/FM by its capacity to perform complicated analytical functions that often include combining information from different sources to derive meaningful relationships.
The Web has a vast amount of resources relating to GIS. For more general information on GIS you may want to visit the following sites:
- http://erg.usgs.gov/isb/pubs/gis_poster/ - Introduction to GIS from the U.S. Geological Survey
- http://www.census.gov/ftp/pub/geo/www/faq-index.html - A list of frequently asked questions (and their answers!) on GIS, from the U.S. Census Bureau
- http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/agidict/welcome.html - GIS Dictionary, from the Association for Geographic Information
- news:comp.infosystems.gis is a Usenet resource (newsgroup) to which anyone with an interest in GIS may post questions
What is a GIS used for?
Local governments (Counties/Cities) typically involve a variety of agencies including assessors, auditors, engineering, planning, public works, public safety, recorders, treasurers, and zoning. These agencies are relying more on GIS technology to plan new land developments, determine tax valuations, maintain real estate land records, manage public works networks, route emergency vehicles, analyze crime and accident patterns, manage transportation systems and study environmental issues.
Marshall County GIS Department
Marshalltown, IA 50158
Normal business hours are from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday.