The City of Memphis uses GIS to share map information between city departments and with the citizens of Memphis. This allows everyone to use the best information and data available, save time and effort to make the best decisions based on solid information.
So, what is a GIS?
GIS stands for Geographic Information System. Basically it is a system that deals with information relating to where something is located. Geographic information and data is everywhere: addresses, streets, sewers, tax parcels, voting districts, parks, fire stations, police precincts, etc. GIS uses this information to help keep track of what is where, understand why it is there and discover relationships between the different data.
How does the City of Memphis use GIS?
There are several departments within the City of Memphis that use GIS. Data and information comes from several sources: data collected by the city, neighboring towns, MLGW, the Federal government, and private companies. So how do we use this data? Different city departments have different responsibilities. One example is the Fire Department which keeps track of past fires, abandoned buildings, and traffic patterns so they can not only better use resources but also determine the fastest route to an emergency. Other departments use GIS for everything from weed control to property assessment to asset management to voting districts to emergency response.
What can a GIS do for you?
The City of Memphis has created a web-based mapping tool for our citizens, including individuals looking for information about a property, school children doing research or an engineering company needing the most current geographic data. All you need is Internet access and an Internet Explorer browser. This application allows the citizens of Memphis to view various maps and aerial images of the city and interact with the map data. The online mapping makes it easy to find out where things are located such as fire stations and tax parcels. The web-mapping tool includes step-by-step help files.