Hobart, Ind., Links Multiple Data Streams in Updated GIS System

City officials can now easily view zoning maps, land use, environmental data, infrastructure, signs, ADA improvements, parcel information, parks and other data layers within the mapping system.

by Chas Reilly, The Times / April 9, 2020
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(TNS) — The city of Hobart, Ind., continues to enhance its geographic information system (GIS) mapping program, and it’s expected to bring benefits to the community.

With GIS, officials can view a variety of data layers on maps of the municipality.

Geographic Technologies Group was hired about a year ago to plan, design and implement an enterprise-wide GIS program for the city.

Since then, Hobart has made “great leaps and bounds” to incorporate multiple databases into the system.

Officials can now easily view zoning maps, land use, environmental data, infrastructure, signs, ADA improvements, parcel information, parks and other data layers on maps.

Tim Kingsland, Hobart’s Stormwater District coordinator, said the upgraded GIS is a “tool that has proven to be very good at helping to make the city services more efficient, and that’s the name of the game.”

David Holdstock, of the Geographic Technologies Group, said the GIS program has been used by more Hobart officials since the company began enhancing it, and the goal is to continue to see more use by municipal departments in the coming years.

Through the cloud-based program, officials can complete a variety of tasks, including viewing where underground infrastructure is located as well as parcel information. Staff also can see where growth has occurred by comparing old images to new maps, which can be helpful for planners.

“The benefits are there,” Holdstock said.

Hobart also can use GIS data to track the age of infrastructure and predict where failure could occur. That can help determine when and where improvements will be done.

“It’s going to help us make better, quicker decisions,” said Bob Fulton, assistant to Mayor Brian Snedecor.

He said the system also can show floodplains and floodways, which can help city officials decide how to prepare and stage materials if it’s predicted a major rain event could cause significant flooding in the area.

As the GIS enhancements continue, more data creation is planned.

Holdstock said the system can include any digital data Hobart wants to view on maps, such as police calls, zoning violations and building permits.

For now, the GIS maps are only available to city officials, but Hobart can eventually make some data open to public access, officials said.

©2020 The Times (Munster, Ind.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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