The Mid-MO Regional Planning Commission uses ESRI’s ArcGIS (Geographic Information System) mapping software as a tool in assisting local communities with a wide range of mapping needs such as data collection, planning, and community development. The full time GIS Specialist/Planner at the RPC is available to assist communities with technical needs as well as provide support to larger regional projects and planning efforts.

The RPC maintains a large database of local, state, and federal data. Local data such as utility locations, planning and zoning boundaries, proposed or planned infrastructure improvements, and various other local datasets are maintained by the RPC and stored in our database. This data can then be shared, at the discretion of the community, with other agencies or private entities to be used as they see fit.

GIS is used in all of our planning documents, such as our Regional Transportation Plan, Community Economic Development Strategy, and Hazard Mitigation Plans.

So……What is this “GIS” and how is it used?

“A geographic information system (GIS) integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.” – Source: ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute)

In a nutshell, GIS allows us to take tabular data, such as an Excel spreadsheet or Access database, and join it to specific geographic locations using lines, points, or polygons. The end product, usually a map, allows us to see patterns, trends, and relationships. This short video about GIS may also be helpful.

For more information about what the RPC can do for your community, please contact our office.