What is GIS?

A geographic information system (GIS) is a computer aided mapping and spatial analysis environment, consisting of computers, hardware, software, spatial data, and users. GIS uses computers and software to leverage location in data analysis, taking the numbers and words from the rows and columns in databases and spreadsheets and putting them on a map, in geometric relationship to other features on the face of the earth. Placing data on maps, for example, can highlight where a retailer's customers live or the locations of multiple leaks in water systems for water authorities. It allows examination, understanding, questioning, interpretation, and visualization of data in ways not possible when data is merely compiled in a spreadsheet or a graph. With data on a map, more questions can be answered. Users can ask where, why, and how, all with the location information on hand. This facilitates better decision making by including geography and spatial analysis in the process.

How does the CPDC use GIS?

GIS is used at the Commission to support transportation and environmental planning, economic development, demographic and economic analysis, redistricting, and ad hoc mapping and analysis for various state, regional, and local organizations and agencies.

The CPDC also provides consultation to member localities that are undertaking GIS development projects, have GIS questions, or want to know what is happening in GIS at other federal, state, regional, and local agencies.

What kind of data does the CPDC use?

While the CPDC produces original data, it has also compiled spatial data covering the Crater District from a wide variety of federal, state, local, and private sources. Unless restricted from doing so by license or other agreements, the Commission will share its data with those requesting it.

Who do I talk to at the CPDC about GIS?

Mark Bittner, Director of Planning & Information Technology
Crater PDC
1964 Wakefield Street
P.O. Box 1808
Petersburg, VA 23805
(804) 861-1666