Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

GIS ExampleAround the world, local governments use GIS to improve decision making, service delivery, and citizen engagement. Since most government data is location based, the latest in GIS technology provides the tools needed to make our community better. Operations run more smoothly, and citizens have more positive experiences.


What is GIS?

GIS is an information system that allows data to be analyzed spatially.  GIS links geographic features (e.g., subdivision lots) with attributes or records in a database that stores owner information, sale date, assessed value, etc).  In a GIS, spatial relationships between map features can be analyzed such as which properties are within 300 feet of a selected property. Also, spatial relationships can be created by overlaying multiple layers to answer questions, for example:

Where are the voting precinct and voting locations in the city?
Is the location in an area prone to flooding?
What land use and zoning is allowed for a particular property?


What is the Role of GIS in Central Services?

City GIS staff have the following responsibilities:

  • Provide City departments with accurate spatial information and analysis tools.
  • Create and maintain GIS layers in a central database accessible by the City network.
  • Produce customized maps for City departments on request.
  • Spatially enable department databases.
  • Integrate GIS into the Information Technology Enterprise.
  • Support City personnel with GIS software and training.
  • Develop web-mapping applications for City departments and public.
  • Develop customized applications for automating GIS processes such as data manipulation and redundant mapping.
  • Provide technical and operational support for GIS-related hardware and software.
  • Provide maps and GIS data to City supported projects and contractors.
  • Create a secure environment for sensitive GIS layers.
  • Make maps and GIS data available to local agencies.
  • Provide mapping and GIS data for emergency planning and response.
  • Make standardized maps available to the public and City departments. 

Visit the Map Gallery page to further explore GIS in the City of Farmington Hills.