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Midland County recognized nationally for GIS

Flickr user Marty Hogan

Midland county has been recognized by the National Association of Counties for its work utilizing GIS. That’s computer based mapping software that experts describe as google maps on steroids.


Midland county officials said they were fortunate to have received a $16,000 state grant in 2015 to fund the GIS system launch.


Chris Cantrell is the GIS Coordinator for Midland county. He said prior to GIS, employees used data provided by state departments, like the DEQ, and the DNR, and then incorporated the state data with their own.


“They’ve got it all sitting right in front of them in one map viewer. So they don't need to guestimate where the house might be and then look at two different screens. In talking with folks across the state nobody had really ever brought it all together like that. And I think that’s where it was really, in my opinion, the really cutting edge part of it”.


Cantrell said the system helps county employees work more efficiently on, for example, environmental issues.


“If we are ever looking at safety concerns dealing with leaking septic tanks it's now sitting in a GIS where we have the power to sit there and say, give me all the septic tanks that were built before 1995. We can query that out and have that come up on a map and that helps us fine tune areas to look at for potential issues”.


Cantrell said the county can use the system to do map things like property parcels, and wells.