Geographic Information System (GIS)
Weymouth Town Hall
75 Middle Street,
East Weymouth, MA 02189
For custom map orders, map and data purchases, and/or general information regarding Town of Weymouth GIS, contact:
Garrett Walsh, GIS Administrator
Fax: (781) 335-3283
The Town of Weymouth Geographic Information System (GIS) is responsible for the development and maintenance of the Town’s digital spatial databases and for providing state-of-the-art mapping and data services to Town departments, citizens, and businesses.
The GIS mission is to continually develop and maintain a GIS to improve Town efficiency and customer service. We seek to ensure that Weymouth’s public decision-makers and other users have access to geographic information that is complete, timely, accurate, and reliable. We promote the use of GIS and related technologies to more effectively and efficiently address problems, develop plans, and manage the natural, cultural, economic, and physical resources of the town.
During the summer of 1997 Weymouth undertook a project to examine the feasibility of investing in GIS technology to assist in the management of the Town’s cartographic data sets. From this, a Needs Assessment and a multi-year Implementation Plan were produced.
The town was flown in the spring of 1998 resulting in 1=600’ scale aerial photography. This was then used to produce base planimetric mapping and color digital orthophotos at 1” = 100’ scale. Numerous additional layers have been created over the years such as property boundaries, zoning and voting precincts. The Town today maintains approximately 50 different layers of geographic information.
Consistent with our mission, we are continually striving to provide the highest quality service to better meet the needs of the public. One way we can do this is by delivering information via the Internet, allowing the public to access it at their convenience. In the future this area of service will be improving with much more functionality and information being made available.
What is GIS?
Information referring to places and events relative to their location on the earth’s surface is often defined as geographic or spatial data. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are computer systems designed to store, retrieve, analyze, and display geographic data. Fundamental to the design of GIS is the integration of geographic data with information about the geographic feature. Many types of information about our community are stored in distinct map layers. These layers contain point, line and polygon map features. An incident of a crime or a permit location may be stored as a point. Roads, water mains, and rivers are stored as lines. Parcels, school districts, and zip codes are stored as polygons.
Using GIS tools, we can create graphical displays of this data and perform spatial analysis. These “intelligent maps” provide information about a region such as where people live and work, where growth and development occur, locations of utilities and public facilities, locations of environmentally sensitive lands and much more.
Beginning in the 1960′s, experts from a wide variety of disciplines began to experiment with the use of computer systems for storing and manipulating geographic information. From the start, these professionals were driven by a need for tools and procedures to solve the practical problems of their disciplines. This practical orientation continues to drive what has become a multi-million dollar industry, with applications ranging from retail site location to environmental impact analysis.
The five major components of a GIS are data, software, hardware, people and procedures. By putting these pieces together, public agencies and private companies are finding that the use of GIS technologies translates into substantial benefits by providing competitive business advantages and improved customer services.