Elkins Wastewater System Expanding Use of Geographic Data
The Elkins Wastewater Department is expanding its use of Geographic Information System (GIS) data using new tools and applications recently purchased with ARPA funding. The city government is in the process of moving from relying on paper maps and employee knowledge to digital geographic information providing up-to-date, easy-to-use mapping for the City of Elkins.
City of Elkins first created a GIS Department in 2021 within the city’s Operations Department to provide maps, reports, and analytical data in support of the city’s utilities, public services, and other city departments and functions. To avoid the cost of a full-time GIS technician, the city now contracts for GIS support from the Region VII Planning and Development Council.
In the summer of 2022, new equipment and software was purchased using ARPA funds to make it easier for water, wastewater, and other city employees to collect and use GIS data in the field. For example, employees are now able to map the location of underground infrastructure components at the time of installation or repair, making these items much easier to locate again during future excavations.
“The current work that the Wastewater Department is doing with the GIS system will make it easier to track changes throughout the city and help keep information up to date,” says Wastewater Chief Operator, Whitney Hymes. “Funding from ARPA is progressing the city toward a more efficient and modern infrastructure.”
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) bring together specialized hardware, software, and experts to collect, manage, and analyze data in terms of geography. GIS combines geographic elements with various data types, creating insightful visuals like maps and 3D scenes. This newer technology gives the city the ability to record infrastructure information that is currently recorded on older paper maps.
Interactive Public Data Applications for the City of Elkins Currently Include:
- Spring Cleanup 2022
- City of Elkins Water Problem Reporter
- Which Ward Am I In?
- Downtown Elkins Parking Map
- City of Elkins Parcel Map
- Water Line Flushing Map
- City Parks and Recreation App
- Elkins Dilapidated Structures Dashboard
- Phase II Sewer Project App
- 2021 Municipal Election Results
- 2019 Municipal Election Results
These applications update information in real-time, providing interactive data that can be used to inform the public of how the City of Elkins is advancing in various areas and departments.
“The old way of analyzing and tracking data across the city was very time consuming and labor intensive”, said Hymes. “Now we can use the GIS Collection System to streamline our processes, give access of better data to the public, and provide less burden on our Operations team.”
City of Elkins GIS
Elkins Announces New GIS Department (03/31/2021)
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