Recently, the City of Osseo engineering consultant, Bolton & Menk, has delivered a powerful and new Geographic Information System (GIS) to City staff. GIS is a computer based modeling system which lets its users visualize, question, analyze, interpret, and understand data to reveal relationships, patterns and trends. GIS benefits organizations of all sizes and in almost every industry. There is a growing awareness of the economic and strategic value of GIS. GIS allows users to increase efficiency which then improves cost savings, make better decisions, improve communication between departments and the public, improve record keeping, and manage geographic information.
In a short answer, GIS is a sophisticated mapping tool that planners and public works employees use to gain up-to-date information on parcels throughout the community. All mapping is maintained in the ESRI ArcGIS mapping environment. This application utilizes ArcServer technology to deliver GIS quality maps. The Osseo Web GIS viewer allows City staff to have access to the ArcGIS based mapping from an Internet Browser that supports Microsoft Silverlight. The application also leverages several powerful GIS tools for analysis and map creation.
What does this all mean for City staff? “The new GIS system will provide a clearer picture of our City, showing us what current conditions are on each piece of property within the City,” said Osseo City Planner Riley Grams. “It will also allow staff to access pertinent parcel information much quicker and more accurately.”
Bolton & Menk has spent a significant amount of time taking inventory of parcels here in Osseo. By inserting all of the data in the GIS system, users can turn on/off different map layers to show such things as sewer/water/drainage connections, elevation changes, street and alley information, and parcel data. Staff can also create visual maps for reports and memos more easily.
Riley Grams, City Planner, City of Osseo