Eva Shoemaker-Maffei, GIS Analyst
Stevens County Courthouse
215 S. Oak Street, Colville, WA  99114
Phone:  (509) 685-2833, TTY: (800) 833-6388  Fax: (509) 684-8310
Email:  eshoemakermaffei@co.stevens.wa.us

Page updated:  March 05, 2014

Mission Statement
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
   
Disclaimer  
   

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.

Make Map

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

Property Appraisals

Growth Management Maps and Analysis

Building Permit Applications

Stevens County Addressing System

Emergency Services Data and Maps

Watershed Planning and Analysis

Water Quality Projects

Grant Applications

County Roads and Construction Projects

Voting/Precinct Maps and Population Analysis

 

Disclaimer

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.

 

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