DOÑA ANA COUNTY MAKES USE OF GRANT TO TRACK ILLEGAL DUMPING

DOÑA ANA COUNTY MAKES USE OF GRANT TO TRACK ILLEGAL DUMPING

In the fall of 2003, Doña Ana County received a mobile government grant from ESRI and Trimble. The grant included hardware, software, and training valued at $14,000.

The goal of the program was to foster innovative approaches to solving problems common to government entities. The GIS Division and the county's Environmental Services Department used the grant to fight illegal dumping in the desert.

The grant included a Trimble GeoXT handheld device with an integrated GPS receiver with sub-meter accuracy, loaded with ArcPad, ESRI's software for mobile GIS and field mapping.

The grant also included ArcPad Application Builder, the development framework software for creating custom input forms for use by ArcPad. GIS Analyst Frank Dodd developed custom input forms for the initial site visit and follow-up visits. He worked closely with environmental code enforcement officers Richard Guerra and Jerry Ford.

Doña Ana County had a mature desktop GIS in place; mobile GIS gave the county the ability to leverage that power in the field. The officers can determine property ownership and jurisdiction information in the field while collecting field data. The data they collect are uploaded to the desktop GIS when the GeoXT is placed in its charging cradle. The county considers the grant project a success, and is continuing to develop applications for the mobile technology. The county's Information Services Department and the county Assessor's Office provided support for the project. The project was featured in the July-September 2004 issue of ArcUser magazine.

The county Assessor's Office maintains the parcel basemap and uses GIS in assessment analysis and administration functions. Using network analysis to develop routing maps allowed the office to do a year's work in six months, and saved the county approximately $300,000 in operating costs. They have also generated approximately $130,000 per year by identifying lost value – using aerial photography to identify improved properties taxed as vacant land.

The county will soon be receiving new aerial data. The Doña Ana County Flood Commission contracted with Bohannan Huston, Inc., to provide aerial photography and a digital terrain model for 1,244 of the county's 3,804 square miles.

In August 2004 at the annual International User's Conference in San Diego, ESRI presented a Special Achievement in GIS award to Doña Ana County. GIS Administrator Sally Baxter received the award on behalf of the county from ESRI president Jack Dangermond.

For more information, call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (505) 647-7229. Residents calling from outside the Las Cruces area may call toll-free at 1-877-827-7200 and request extension 7229.