Thomas County's geographic information system goes public - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thomas County's geographic information system goes public

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THOMAS COUNTY, GA (WALB) -

By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

THOMAS COUNTY, GA (WALB) –Part of Thomas County's in-depth informational system will be available to the public online starting next week.

The Citizens Mapping Access Point will allow users to view customized maps full of information on political districts, transportation, zoning and more.

County officials hope citizens will help develop CMAP even more.

It's no Google map. In fact, Thomas County officials say CMAP is even better.

"It is more in depth and it's personal to Thomas County and its data," says Derrick Ogletree with Thomas County Information Systems.

And that level of personalization is why it took the county 18-months to develop the Citizens Mapping Access Point. But they didn't do it alone.

"We had parts of this that were pre-existing," Ogletree explains. "For instance, public works had a part and zoning had a part. But they couldn't share their information in a timely manner."

So instead of starting from scratch, they worked with a team out of Valdosta that had already implemented a similar website called Valor.

"Now departments can share information in real time data," says Ogletree.

But the geographic information system isn't limited to government use.

"It's good for anyone who has an interest in Thomas County, business or personal," County Manager Mike Stephenson points out. "And it puts a wealth of information at your fingertips."

Ogletree adds, "Instead of picking up the phone to call or driving into town, people can go to the website and see if they can find the information that they're looking for."

Special layers allow users to see customizable in-depth map contents.

"Not everything is 100-percent yet," warns Ogletree. "Feedback is what we're wanting, it's what we're expecting. And this is just the beginning. There's a lot more that the team wants to put in it."

"The possibilities are endless," says Stephenson. "All the information, almost anything you can imagine can be mapped out. So it's going to continue to grow and grow and grow."

And county leaders say CMAP is a big technological step into the future for Thomas County.

CMAP will be available for public use next Monday.

Officials will use public feedback to analyze and take the guess work out of future county government projects.

Thomas County Press Release on CMAP:

Beginning October 25, Thomas County's GIS will be accessible to the public via the internet on a website that will be labeled Citizens Mapping Access Point or CMAP. CMAP is the product of an 18 month effort conducted jointly with the Southern Georgia Regional Commission in Valdosta and our in-house GIS Team.

CMAP was developed to serve the public in their daily personal and business decisions. CMAP has information that can be viewed layer by layer allowing users to customize their maps to suit their specific areas of interest. Some of the available layers are commission district boundaries, transportation, political districts, parcel boundaries, address and name search, zoning, EMS & fire stations, soil types & elevation and aerial photography. On certain layers there will be an "ask a question" function. CMAP also offers a direct link to "Municode", a listing of all county ordinances. According to Information Systems Manager Derrick Ogletree, "CMAP will deliver all of the county's spatial data to citizens through their internet browser at no additional cost to them."

When available on October 25, the new website can be accessed at www.thomascountymaps.org/cmap or on the County website, www.thomascountyboc.org. Click on "GIS County Maps" for the link to CMAP and a Power Point presentation.

For additional information about Thomas County CMAP and the services it provides you may contact Derrick C. Ogletree at 225-4100.

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