Ocean City’s GIS Is Progressing

OCEAN CITY – As Ocean City continues to grow the need for
information regarding everything from addresses to what utilities run through
which properties grows as well. For this information and other types similar to
it, Ocean City relies on its geographic information system (GIS).

At the Mayor and City Council work session Tuesday, Karen
Zera, Ocean City’s GIS coordinator, was on hand to give an update on how the
GIS is progressing.

GIS is a computer system that uses software and geographic
data to capture, analyze, manage and display many forms of geographically
referenced information. It can be used in a variety of ways including
scientific investigations, resource management and most importantly, development
planning.

According to Zera, the GIS has since created a series of
map books, which can be found online at the city’s website, with street names
and a condominium index aimed to assist everyone. Every street in Ocean City is
listed and a single click will bring up a tiled map with a bird’s eye view of
the street.

“The format on the internet is PDF files and Word
documents with hyperlinks built into them so people can download the whole
package and have it at their computer at home,” she said.

Zera also said various map books have been produced for
other groups, layered with different information and designed specifically for
them.

Examples of these books includes one for the fire
department that shows locations of hydrants, catch basins and water supplies,
as well as a map book for planning and zoning that shows zoning, overlay zones
and other limits on development.

“A lot of our departments get questions from people who
come and they don’t know where exactly they’re at, but they can tell you what
condominium they are staying at,” Zera said.

Other accomplishments the GIS system has reached in the
past year includes the addition of lot information and addresses for trailer
parks and new GIS layers for building limit lines, beach replenishment lines,
and water mains.

As for the future of the GIS project, Zera said they are
working on a big project that includes converting the utility lines and adding
them as a layer to the map books as well. She said they are also looking at
ideas to have items such as hydrants all tied to a database where information
on work orders and repair history can all be accessed if need be.

“This
is phenomenal this little book,” Councilwoman Mark Knight. “Now our citizens
know that they can find that information. I remember years ago staying down
here saying, ‘Where is that place, where is the so and so condominium?’ so this
is just great.” 

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