Utility Services Map goes online

SHERIDAN — The city of Sheridan Utility Services Division has gone live with an online Geographic Information Systems viewer, available to contractors, realtors and the community at large.

The GIS viewer is an interactive mapping system that displays a myriad of information including:

• water and sewer permits

• water and sewer utility line location

• storm water systems

• water system pressures

• sanitation collection routes and schedules

• lot zoning and parcel boundaries

• roads, alleys and addresses

• Sheridan Area Water Supply information

• watershed information

The GIS viewer can be accessed through a link on the city’s website at www.sheridanwy.net.

Utilities Services Coordinator Mike Peacock said the city has wanted to offer an online utility map since the city started using GIS more than 12 years ago. As the June budget sessions approached for fiscal year 2013-2014, Public Works Director Nic Bateson and Utilities Division Manager Dan Roberts decided it was time to implement the online mapping system.

“We’ve been building a GIS data model for many, many years,” Bateson said.

The city spent six months adding to the data that had already been entered into its GIS mapping software.

More than 16,000 water and sewer permits had to be linked by hand to the right parcels as individual pdf documents, and more than 200 miles of water lines had to be entered into the system, in addition to all the other utility information.

The last two months were focused on linking data from the city’s Esri GIS software with Adobe Flex, the web viewer that allows the GIS information to be viewed on aerial photography of the area. Adobe Flex also allows the aerial photography images to be moved and manipulated around the screen, making the map interactive for users.

The web viewer was included in the city’s Esri GIS license. The city spent approximately $20,000 to implement the GIS viewer, Bateson said.

Peacock said the Utility Services Division received 40-50 calls per week from plumbers, contractors, realtors and renters seeking information on water and sewer permits, utility locations, lot zoning and sanitation routes. Sometimes the data was accessible on the city’s internal GIS records, but sometimes it had to be dug out from maps in three different locations. The city’s service line maps date back to 1892, and sewer service drawings date back to 1906.

“It took a lot of time to find information in the archives,” Bateson said. “Now it is readily available, easy to retrieve and saved in a more secure way.”

Already in the week the GIS viewer has been live, it has received more than 300 views, Peacock said. Last week a contractor from Montana called to request information on water system pressures for installation of a fire sprinkler system. Peacock directed him toward the online GIS viewer.

“He said, ‘Move to Bozeman. We need one of these in Bozeman,’” Peacock said.

Dixie See, broker/owner at ERA Carroll Realty in Sheridan, said the new web viewer will alleviate some pressure at the city from realtors who called “a lot” for the kinds of information now available online.

“We have a county mapping system, but this does a better job in the city limits. It will be useful to agents because it has all the information there that we need. I think it’s going to be great,” See said. “Most agents are pretty tech savvy. They love the tools we have. This is another tool that we will use.”

Peacock said the city realizes there will be kinks in the system to work out. He invited people to try it and offer suggestions for improvement. The city hopes to add the new Flood Insurance Rate Maps to the GIS viewer and will strive to keep the utility viewer up to date.

About

Hannah Wiest is the government and outdoors reporter for The Sheridan Press. She has lived in Colorado and Montana but loves her sunny home state of Wyoming best. She joined The Press staff in February 2013.

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