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 Salem GIS  

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is used by the city in a number of ways serving city staff, local and global businesses, and our citizens.  We use a hybrid approach to delivering GIS technology; where the GIS hardware, software, data, and policy are centralized within the Information Technology Department, yet GIS staff are distributed trhoughout several departments responsibile for maintaining data, and meeting the day-to-day business needs of departments.

Salem GIS combines layers of information to give a better understanding of our region, to manage City resources, and to support decision making throughout the City. Layers of information, such as streets, zoning, and crime are created and maintained in a computer system. Data can be customized by users with GIS mapping tools to create visual displays that reveal patterns, and information that can be critical to decisions that have a geographic component.

With GIS, the City has the ability to store, create, edit, and analyze features with geographic reference, and to attach information to each feature. Data that is stored in GIS is then available for analysis, for mapping, and for linking to other City databases.

The City's GIS can link data together by common location, such as addresses, which helps departments and agencies share their data. By creating a shared database, one department can benefit from the work of another—data can be collected once and then used many times. The collection and maintenance of these information layers in GIS provides the user with improved tools for decision-making to promote a better and more efficient community and an improved quality of life for the citizens of Salem.

Interactive mapping and access to GIS data via the web is not available at this time but is being planned for future release.

User Groups

Northwest GIS User Group
NW Users Home Page

Willamette Valley User Group
Home Page

Oregon and Soutwest Washington Chapter of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA)
Regional URISA Home Page


Citywide GIS Overview

GIS is deployed in several city departments, with a wide variety of users and applications. GIS staff are distributed throughout the city, with GIS power users located in three departments. Public Works, Community Development, and IT use GIS in daily operations and data is edited on a daily basis.

Citywide GIS is coordinated through the Information Technology Division, and has an oversight group called the GIS Advisory and Planning (GAP) Committee.  Most departments are using GIS in some capacity, from heavy to lightweight uses. Some departments such as Public Works has a team of people who maintain all utility data (water, sewer, storm) and manage these complex systems, as well as transportation, using GIS. These Public Works users are considered Power Users, as they maintain GIS data every day. Other users, however have a need to simply look up an address and evaluate the related features around that address as part of their job function, and may use the intranet browser based GIS tool called SAVI (Salem Address and Visual Information).

Here is a sampling of how GIS is used in the City of Salem...

Public Works
manages water, sewer, storm, and transportation systems with GIS.

Community Development
manages landuse, zoning, and neighborhood planning with GIS.

Building and Safety
uses GIS in its permitting system.

uses GIS to track and analyze crime patterns and provide information to special operations, neighborhood associations, and community outreach.

uses GIS to track, analyze and improve response times and as an analysis and communication tool in the Emergency Operations Center.

uses GIS to spatially enable their computer aided dispatching operations for 911

Information Technology
coordinates GIS programs and policy; maintains GIS hardware and software; administers centralized data; maintains public safety data; and delivers denterprise technical solutions.

uses GIS to determine if customers are within city limits when issuing patron cards.

Parks, Recreation and Community Services
use GIS in managing environmentally sensitive areas, and to evaluate future needs for parks, greenways and open space.


More information and samples can be found at How GIS works in Salem

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