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Placer's geographic information system team takes mapping to next level, wins prestigious award

July 13, 2016

The best in geographic information system technology has put Placer County on the map. 

With help from the Placer County Office of Economic Development, Placer’s GIS team was one of 167 organizations nationwide to win a Special Achievement in GIS award at the annual User Conference this month hosted by Esri, the market leader in GIS technology.

The SAG award recognizes the advanced analysis the team performed to assist with the marketing of an underdeveloped area of the county - the Sunset Area near Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln - and the creation of an interactive map that showcases opportunities and land use analytics for that area.

ESRI award

Placer’s GIS team develops and shares spatial information - maps, but also the data that informs them - to help county staff and residents make decisions about all kinds of land use, from project planning to recreation to real estate.

Ultimately, the goal of the GIS team is to enhance the tools that will improve quality of life for local and prospective residents, to help them decide where to work, live, learn, start a business and spend their free time.

“The cliché that information and data are power is very true, and being able to show that information graphically and with perspective to geography and place is how the public and private businesses today are finding the highest value for GIS,” said Paul Griffith, Placer County business development manager.

Placer’s GIS team maintains a public website that allows people to interact and review mapped information within Placer County.

“I see this web application being used by a large realm of diverse users, from the individual to realtors, public schools, and even contractors wanting to learn more about Placer County,” said Placer County GIS Coordinator Kelly Berger. “In the near future we will see even more focused applications as our program evolves.”

GIS use has traditionally been limited to professionals, but is transitioning into a technology that empowers amateurs to be able to contribute.

“There is no doubt that GIS is quickly moving from the ‘back office’ to everyone’s desktop,” said Berger. “The core GIS professionals’ role will continue to be management of data, but they will also have the ability to provide maps, data and analytical capabilities to users who may or may not be GIS savvy.”

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