County targets enterprisewide GIS
- By Brian Robinson
- Mar 03, 2002
Will County, one of the fastest-growing counties in Illinois, will use geographic
information systems to build a virtual network of geographical data users
and producers that will not only include the government's departments and
agencies but, eventually, all of the county's towns and municipalities.
SD.I, a Chicago-based IT consulting firm, is conducting a needs assessment
that could be delivered to the county's executive council by July. It also
will develop an implementation plan that will lay out a three- to five-year
program for deploying the system.
"We've had a base map of the county prepared for a long time, and our
departments have been chomping at the bit to use [countywide GIS]," said
Bruce Freifeld, executive special assistant to the executive council. "But
we need to get data into the system, and there's been no overall architectural
plan about how to develop it to meet those needs."
The county also will develop a cost and data-sharing program between
all of the system's users.
The enterprisewide GIS likely will be a distributed system rather than
one organized around a central database, said Doug Roberts, the SD.I project
manager, because government departments and other organizations have indicated
they would like to keep their own GIS databases. Power uses would be linked
to the system directly through desktop computers, he said, and "light" userswill
access it via the Web.
A menu of user privileges will decide who has the ability to write to
and manipulate the GIS data layers.
GIS has become "such a dominant player" that Freifeld believes it could
eventually consume other information technology and management information
systems functions and become the major driver for technology development
in the county.
Robinson is a freelance journalist based in Portland, Ore. He can be
reached at [email protected]
Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.