Several dozen officials from organizations and agencies participating in LINK-GIS met for two days last month to envision the system’s future. Besides the partner organizations that built and fund the computer mapping system, the audience included some of its heaviest users.
“Officials from ESRI’s (Environmental Systems Research Institute) office in St. Louis facilitated the workshop,” said Trisha Brush, NKAPC’s deputy director for GIS administration. ESRI is the world’s leader in providing software and solutions for computer mapping needs.
The facilitators led participants through a celebration of what’s been accomplished collaboratively since LINK-GIS was created 22 years ago. They then moved the group into discussions of how the system needed to grow and change to keep up with today’s challenges.
“We discussed things that we’d like to see in the future,” said Brush. “Some of that included the most important uses of the GIS. After we defined them, we voted on which we felt should be top priorities.”
Participants broke off into three groups several times to “design” different applications that could be used in GIS.
“We looked at ideas that would benefit our three main constituent groups: infrastructure and utilities; zoning and land use planning; and land records/parcel data,” she said.
“That really served as a springboard to help us determine where we want to go in the future. It gave people a chance to voice thoughts about things that need to happen and to revisit some old goals and refresh them.”
The group also posed different ideas for a mission statement for the system.
“ESRI staff is compiling a report of the activities and findings from our workshop,” said Brush. “They’ll provide that to us in about 60 days.”
“It was a good experience,” said Brush. “One of the best things that came out of it was everybody sitting down at the same table at the same time to discuss our future needs from this mapping technology.”
LINK-GIS is an interlocal partnership of the Campbell and Kenton County Fiscal Courts, the Campbell and Kenton County Property Valuation Administrators (PVAs), Sanitation District #1, the Northern Kentucky Water District, and NKAPC. NKAPC provides GIS support to the Pendleton County Fiscal Court and PVA.