A successful GIS must provide a way of making the data available to the end users in a timely and user friendly manner.
When the Information Management Department took over the responsibility of developing and maintaining the county wide GIS in 1995 our goal was not only to develop new source data, but to make sure that the data and tools to access and analyze the information was available to all departments and organizations within the County. Today a state of the art GIS system exists in Mesa County that is available to over 700 county employees in all departments in more than 10 locations throughout the region. Currently there are around 120 active GIS users in more than a dozen departments throughout the County. Our GIS department consists of 4 full time employees and usually 1 or 2 part time intern. The backbone underlying our GIS begins with the infrastructure that links all information systems in the County.
The County's Wide Area Network (WAN) consist of Novell and Microsoft Storage Area Network (SAN) cluster servers, Unix servers, a 750+ GB GIS file server, a WEB map server, over 800 Pentium based desktop and laptop computers all internally linked by 100 Base-T and Gigabyte internal fiber, broadband connections to the Internet. This allows us to provide access to all the data used by the GIS and other systems to everyone in the County in a fast and transparent method. Other public and private GIS users can down load our data directly off our web site or ftp site at no cost or are provided a CD containing our vector based data set, (over 700 coverage's) at no cost.
GIS not only provides data at via the Internet we also provide online interactive mapping and data retrieval. In 1997 we began a project to automate the Surveyors office by scanning and geo-code all survey related documents including historical plats, subdivision plats and monument records. (at that time over 40,000 documents, today over 4,000,000 have been scan in the County) These documents can now be accesses over the Internet using our interactive mapping and image retrieval tools. Parcel mapping, Zoning, Voter Locator and Aerial Photography can also be viewed on our web site through our interactive mapping programs.