COUNTY GIS EFFORT BRINGS HOME INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION

COUNTY GIS EFFORT BRINGS HOME INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION

From more than 100,000 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) evaluated from around the world, Doña Ana County's GIS has been selected as one of the 150 best.

The Environmental Systems Research Institute of Redlands, Calif., will present Doña Ana County with an award for excellence related to GIS applications at its annual awards ceremony Thursday, Aug. 12 at the San Diego Convention Center.

County GIS Administrator Sally Baxter said the award is a tribute to the hard work of her small staff, which includes Frank Dodd, Dennis Smith and Jim Livingston, Jr.

"Frank and Dennis built most of the County's GIS," Baxter said, "and for about a decade each have developed databases, applications, map products and custom programs that made the county's GIS a regional leader. More importantly, they made the system accessible to coworkers, area agencies and the public by training others in the use of the system and de-mystifying the complicated technology. Jim deserves recognition for working to expand his abilities in GIS. He also has a way of dealing with coworkers and members of the public that makes him approachable to people who might otherwise hesitate to ask introductory GIS questions. I've received many expressions of appreciation for their work. It is truly my pleasure to work with Jim, Dennis, and Frank as members of the GIS Division."

Baxter said GIS technology helps make public service more efficient by bringing technology to the field and maximizing communication abilities between computer databases and field personnel.

"GIS builds bridges," she said. "It builds bridges between users needing the same data, bridges between departments in the same organization, bridges between agencies with similar duties, bridges between office theory and real-world practicality and bridges between what you think you have and what you know you have."

In addition to working closely with other county departments, Baxter said she and her staff are working with the City of El Paso, El Paso County, Ciudad Juarez, Otero County, Hudspeth County, NMSU and UTEP to develop a regional GIS that will improve regional mapping, tracking, codes enforcement and law enforcement.

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.