By Lon Anderson
Wednesday, Nov. 13, is National GIS Day, and for Hardy County that’s really something to celebrate. Hardy County is, after all, a state leader in the realm of GIS.
What, you ask, is GIS and why is Hardy County at or near the head of the line in West Virginia involving GIS? GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems. It is a high-tech system of managing data that’s related to locations. Simply, it creates maps with a whole lot of detail on a large variety of subjects that can be manipulated to analyze and manage all types of geographical data for their particular purposes.
For example, GIS is the data system that our ambulance drivers and first responders use to quickly pinpoint the exact locations of emergencies to help them respond quickly and efficiently. It’s the system that tax assessors use to track home assessments and that planning offices use to see how a parcel is zoned. It can tell flood plain managers what parcels are within 50 feet of a flood plain and who owns them, or allows officials to see where the utilities are