GIS & Maps

What is GIS?
A geographic information system, or GIS, integrates hardware, software and both spatial and tabular data.   Together those components are used for capturing, managing, analyzing and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.  GIS provides a framework for gathering and organizing spatial data and related information so that it can be displayed and easily analyzed.

Why GIS?
GIS allows us to view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports and charts.  Patterns and relationships are not always obvious in tabular data.  However, when this data is viewed spatially these patterns begin to emerge and new types of analysis can be preformed.  Maps can be created to show change over time and location and to help predict those changes in order to become more prepared for planning efforts.  GIS can be used as an information porthole to combine disparate information sources into a single map that otherwise would have to be viewed individually.

What are the benefits of GIS?
While there are countless benefits , they fall into 5 basic categories:

  1. Cost savings resulting from greater efficiency
  2. Better decision making
  3. Improved communication
  4. Better geographic information recordkeeping
  5. Managing geographically

How is GIS used in Woodland
City of Woodland staff currently uses GIS in various capacities and formats.  The biggest consumer of GIS in the City is the Public Works department.  GIS is used to inventory the many types of infrastructure such as the City’s water, sewer and storm drainage systems.  Field crew workers have access to these assets using GIS and can view, query and make changes in real-time while working in the field.

The City's Planning, Finance and Community Development Departments all use an internal web-based GIS portal that allows staff to view and query information such as Parcels, Zoning and Assessment Districts.  The GIS portal brings together data sources not only created internally but is integrated with other external data sources.

GIS is also used to create high quality maps that are used in project documentation, presentations for City Council and for reference maps displayed in City buildings.  The GIS maps can be accessed here, or from the top left "Map Library" link.