Thursday, January 10, 2008

Geographic Information System for the city of Pickering

Members of Council got a lesson Monday on the City's new on-point mapping system that is now available to them, and should be available online to the public later this year.

In 2005, the City of Pickering received $375,000 in GeoSmart funding from the Ministry of Natural Resources for its geographic information system project that's roughly worth $750,000. The City's cash contribution was roughly $240,000, which was set aside in the 2005 budget. The remaining funding was made up of in-kind contributions.

The entire municipality is mapped, and users can click on a specific lot and get information such as addresses and roll numbers. Users can search for facilities, intersections, parks and environmentally sensitive areas, for example. Although property assessments are not yet available, they'll possibly be included in the future. However, staff stressed residents' privacy is important.

Ian Bishop, supervisor of information and support service for the planning and development department, said the department has been working on it intensely since early 2006.

"This is one portion of a lot of accomplishments," he said. He added a lot of data collection, organizing, software and hardware-purchasing, for example, also went into it.

Mr. Bishop said since a municipality's information is very focused on property information, this will be a handy tool for City staff. As long as there are no hiccups while Council and staff have the application on its intranet site, the program should be available online by the end of May.

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