GIS (a system of hardware, software, databases and maps), provides planning staff the ability to apply geographic knowledge more efficiently in supporting location decisions involving physical and human factors. GIS tools allow the staff a geographic approach to the planning process. This approach involves transportation modeling, transportation networks, traffic analysis zones, existing/future land use and terrain, transit needs analysis, transit quality of service, vehicle routing, environmental and social impacts, and engineering costs and constraints.
GIS technology is coordinated and implemented to support many projects undertaken by the Council. Technical assistance is provided utilizing ArcView, ArcGIS, MapInfo and AutoCad Map software programs. An extensive set of aerial photography, environmental, land use and transportation planning GIS layers are maintained for the development of special projects in the region.
GIS staff provides data and support for three Transportation Planning Organizations. This includes Long Range Transportation Plans, Transportation Improvement Programs, Congestion Management Systems, Public Transportation and Bicycle/Pedestrian projects. Technical assistance is provided to local governments by providing zoning and future land use GIS projects. Census 2000 geographic boundaries, demographics and maps are developed for professional planning staff as part of project requirements. GIS staff also coordinates a Rideshare GIS database of employers and employees for promotion of vanpools and ride sharing for the Commuter Assistance program.