GIS Administrator Receives A Governor’s Technology Award

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Administrator Doug Sexton received the Governor’s Technology Award from the Innovative Use of Technology in Local Government category for the in-house development of a customized GIS Plat Toolbar.
This toolbar provides Planning Department staff with on-demand access to digital surveys of record through their desktop workstations.

On September 5, 2018, state agencies, government localities, and educational entities from the Commonwealth of Virginia were honored by Governor Ralph Northam with the Governor’s Technology awards.  Winners were selected from nine categories representing innovations in the improvement of government service.  Recipient submissions were judged by a panel comprised of twelve (12) Virginia government IT experts.  Trophies were presented to award recipients by Northam’s Secretary of Administration Keyanna Conner and Chief Information Officer of the Commonwealth Nelson Moe during a special ceremony that took place at the Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium (COVITS) in the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

Per Doug Sexton: “For the past four years I have been compiling a database of electronic surveys while performing updates and corrections to GIS parcel data that serves numerous functions in county operations.”

The time range to acquire a plat can vary depending on the research involved.  The “GIS Plat Toolbar” increases efficiency in daily workflows and eliminates work redundancy by passing resource savings directly to a user from the convenience of their personal workstation.  When viewing GIS parcel data, staff can visualize all parcels with an available plat in a single mouse-click.  Selecting a highlighted parcel will then open an associated parcel’s survey for review in the user’s default viewer and provide quick access to print or email the document.  An additional tool overlays the plat within the user’s GIS software.

According to Sexton: “The idea has always been to provide Planning staff and eventually other departments and the public with on demand access to this frequently requested information.  If we can save a citizen or individual the time it takes to locate plats of record who are unfamiliar with the research process or are unable to physically visit the courthouse, everybody wins.”

With the “GIS Plat Toolbar” framework in place, future project initiatives will include increasing the inventory of available digital surveys and the development of a Web GIS based application to provide public access to these useful interactive tools.

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