|Eva Shoemaker-Maffei, GIS Analyst|
|Mailing Address: 215 S. Oak Street, Colville, WA 99114|
|Physical Address: 252 E. Birch Avenue, Colville, WA 99114|
|Phone: (509) 685-2833, TTY: (800) 833-6388 Fax: (509) 684-8310|
Page updated: April 25, 2016
The Geographic Information Systems Division uses GIS technology to assist Stevens County Departments and personnel to meet their business needs and enable the County staff to provide the general public with more efficient and productive services.
|Addressing||What is GIS?|
|Data Disk Purchase||Why use GIS|
|Map Order Forms||How is Stevens County using GIS|
|Naming a Private Road|
|Stevens County Map Book||Printable GIS Brochure|
What is GIS?
“A Geographical Information System (GIS) links locational (spatial) and database (tabular) information and enables a person to visualize patterns, relationships, and trends. This process gives an entirely new perspective to data analysis that cannot be seen in a table or list format.” – copyright © ESRI
What GIS is NOT.
A GIS or GIS product does not replace any legal document. For example, a parcel map may represent landownership patterns, but it has no legal validity and does not imply or replace a legally recorded survey. A disclaimer of GIS data and products may read as the following: “This GIS Data is deemed reliable but provided "as is" without warranty of any representation of accuracy, timeliness, reliability or completeness. These map documents do not represent a legal survey of the land and are for graphical purposes only. Use of this Data for any purpose should be with acknowledgment of the limitations of the Data, including the fact that the Data is dynamic and is in a constant state of maintenance, correction, and update.”
A GIS is not a Global Positioning System (GPS). The data collected by a GPS may be used in the GIS but the GPS is a different system. See What is GPS, http://www.garmin.com/aboutGPS/ for more information
Components of a GIS:
Software: GIS software provides the functions and tools user need to store, analyze, and display geographical information.
Hardware: The hardware is the computer, networks and peripherals on which the GIS operates.
People: GIS technology is of limited value without people to manage the system and to develop plans for applying it.
Methods/Training: GIS applies a scientific process to the tasks for which it is used. Good training and designed plans will better equip you to understand that process and apply it properly.
Data: Knowing what data types are available and understanding their limitations in the GIS application is an important component.
Why use GIS?
Improve Organizational Integration
One of the main benefits of GIS is improved management of your organization and resources. A GIS can link data sets together by common locational data, such as addresses, which helps departments and agencies share their data. By creating a shared database, one department can benefit from the work of another—data can be collected once and used many times.
Make Better Decisions
The old adage "better information leads to better decisions" is true for GIS. A GIS is not just an automated decision making system but a tool to query, analyze, and map data in support of the decision making process.
For example, GIS can be used to help reach a decision about the location of a new housing development that has minimal environmental impact, is located in a low-risk area, and is close to a population center. The information can be presented succinctly and clearly in the form of a map and accompanying report, allowing decision makers to focus on the real issues rather than trying to understand the data. Because GIS products can be produced quickly, multiple scenarios can be evaluated efficiently and effectively.
For simplicity's sake we often call GIS "mapping software." We most often associate maps with physical geography, but the map to the right demonstrates that GIS is flexible enough to map any kind of terrain, even the human body. GIS can map any data you wish.
Making maps with GIS is much more flexible than traditional manual or automated cartography approaches. A GIS creates maps from data pulled from databases. Existing paper maps can be digitized and translated into the GIS as well.
The GIS-based cartographic database can be both continuous and scale free. Map products can then be created centered on any location, at any scale, and showing selected information symbolized effectively to highlight specific characteristics. A map can be created anytime to any scale for anyone, as long as you have the data.
This is important because often we say "I see" to mean "I understand." Pattern recognition is something human beings excel at. There is a vast difference between seeing data in a table of rows and columns and seeing it presented in the form of a map. The difference is not simply aesthetic, it is conceptual—it turns out that the way you see your data has a profound effect on the connections you make and the conclusions you draw from it. GIS gives you the layout and drawing tools that help present facts with clear, compelling documents. – copyright © ESRI
How is Stevens County using GIS?
GIS has a multitude of uses, the following are some of the applications that Stevens County and other local agencies are using GIS to complete their business.
Digital Tax Parcel Creation
Growth Management Maps and Analysis
Building Permit Applications
Stevens County Addressing System
Emergency Services Data and Maps
Watershed Planning and Analysis
Water Quality Projects
County Roads and Construction Projects
Voting/Precinct Maps and Population Analysis
This GIS Data is deemed reliable but provided "as is" without warranty of any representation of accuracy, timeliness, reliability or completeness. These map documents do not represent a legal survey of the land and are for graphical purposes only. Use of this Data for any purpose should be with acknowledgment of the limitations of the Data, including the fact that the Data is dynamic and is in a constant state of maintenance, correction, and update.
[top of page]