- Who will be affected by this water main break?
- Where are the nearest valves necessary to stop the flow of water and retain water service to the most people?
Almost everything a local government does can be tied to a location. Public Works and other officials can learn a lot about a given location without leaving the office. For instance, a GIS map can show the land usage, infrastructure location, public utilities, distances to emergency services, access to roads, road type and pavement condition rating, tax rate and other parcel information, lot measurements, permits issued, and a host of other details for a given location. They can also make use of a specific combination of that data to solve a specific challenge. Visualization is a powerful advantage. A list of addresses has little impact compared to a map showing houses with flooded basements or all of the passable streets the morning after a major snowstorm. GIS is a tool that has everyday applications for Public Works departments. As an example, you can now answer questions like: