Buckeye Hills Celebrates Day Dedicated to Data & Maps
GIS Day is celebrated annually as an international forum for users of geographic information systems (GIS) technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in our society.
For Buckeye Hills Regional Council, the GIS team of staff dedicates their time to using spatial data to answer questions, organize complex information, and facilitate investment into the communities of southeast Ohio.
“By simply putting information on a map and observing where something is located geographically in relation to other things, so much can be revealed even before we begin the process of analyzing the data,” shared Jason Pyles, GIS Coordinator for Buckeye Hills.
Launching in 1993, the GIS department of Buckeye Hills started out focusing on business enhancement when they acquired MapInfo, Buckeye Hills' first GIS software. Today, though only a team of three staff members, Buckeye Hills champions a volume of accomplishments earned through the expertise and innovation of the GIS division.
“Buckeye Hills truly has one of the best GIS teams in the state, if not the country, and we do our best to share knowledge in a way that is both meaningful and beneficial to the communities we serve. We recently developed a process to perform tax allocations on horizontal wells in southeast Ohio, and that process has been critical in saving taxpayer money that would have otherwise been spent paying a private company to do the same,” shared Dru Sexton, GIS Specialist.
Other recent initiatives taken on by the GIS team at Buckeye Hills include producing parking inventories for local governments, mapping shale wells for economic development organizations, preparing data on vehicle crashes for county commissioners and the Ohio Department of Transportation, and maintaining commercial property inventories for investors and developers interested in land in southeast Ohio.
In celebration of GIS Day, Buckeye Hills Regional Council is hosting an open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1400 Pike Street in Marietta for individuals interested in learning how to use GIS applications. Specifically, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., GIS staff will host GIS 101, a presentation on the definition of GIS, the myriad of uses of GIS both personally and professionally, and how GIS has been used to benefit southeast Ohio. These events are free and open to the public.
“GIS plays a major role in our lives because everything is spatial and everything has information that is of value to us all, whether we realize it or not,” says Sexton.