Geographic Information System (GIS) & Information Technology (IT)

The Jo Daviess County Geographic Information System (GIS) was established in 1999 and Information Technology was added to the department in 2006. The office provides GIS and Information Technology services and support to all County departments and provides GIS products and services to the general public as well.

What is GIS?  “GIS is an integrated system of computer hardware, software, and trained personnel linking topographic, demographic, utility, facility, image and other resource data that is geographically referenced.” NASA.  A GIS allows features of a map to be related to attribute information in a database, resulting in "intelligent maps."  

There are four major components of a GIS: (1) hardware, such as computer workstations, servers, printers, plotters, scanners, and GPS receivers; (2) software, Intergraph, ESRI, & MapInfo being three of the leading software companies in the industry; (3) users, ranging from County staff who use the system on a daily basis to the citizen who wants a map of his/her property; (4) data, the core of GIS, is developed from a wide variety of sources.  The Jo Daviess County GIS has multiple data sets including digital orthophotography, parcel ownership boundaries, road and street centerlines, topographic contours, and soils.

County employees and officials use the GIS in daily activities and through the decision-making process.  The system also provides products and services to users in both the private and public sectors.  Most commonly requested products are parcel maps, GIS website subscriptions, county maps, address atlases, and digital data.  These products and services are listed in more detail in the GIS cost recovery policy.  This policy was put in place to help maintain and continue developing the system. 

The department also posts and updates information on the Jo Daviess County website.