The City of Webster City Environmental/Safety/GIS Coordinator is responsible for making sure the city is compliant with the IDNR and EPA, managing an environmental cleanup site, core safety training and injury reporting, and maintaining the City’s Geographic Information Systems (utility and infrastructure mapping).
What is GIS (Geographic Information System)?
According to ESRI (a leader in GIS products): “A geographic information system (GIS) integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.
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.
A GIS helps you answer questions and solve problems by looking at your data in a way that is quickly understood and easily shared.”
What role does GIS play in city government?
Mapping – We map everything from storm water intakes to dump locations for the annual river cleanup. We often use GPS devices to make sure our maps and GIS are up to date and accurate.
Infrastructure Information – Within our GIS, we have the capability of associating text/picture data to a specific feature on a map. For example: we can take a picture of a water main break, record what date/time it occurred, what size pipe, what material it is made from, when it was installed, etc. We then can take that information into consideration when/if improvements are made to that particular water main.
Development – Residential and commercial development use a lot of GIS tools prior to construction. When researching development areas, it is crucial to know utility information in the area and if there are any easements that would affect the location of a building and/or development altogether.
Most people use GIS on a small scale, at least, weekly. Mapping websites, Google Earth, directions on your GPS or phone, or hard copy maps were all made possible by using GIS software/tools.
If you are interested in large format prints or specific map/data layers, please contact the Administrative Services Department at 515-832-9151.