Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Services

Geographic information system (GIS) technology provides powerful and versatile tools that enhance transportation planning, emergency response, site selection, environmental analysis, tax assessment, and many other facets of public business where geographic location is key to a decision or analytical process. In the 1970s, North Carolina was one of the first states to adopt the technology through the North Carolina Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (CGIA). Today, GIS is used extensively by the majority of State agencies, all 100 counties, and many cities and towns. It is also pervasive in the private sector and it serves a growing number of applications and data analysis capabilities. 

The CGIA mission includes two key and complementary components: GIS professional services and statewide coordination. Professional services include GIS project management, strategic planning, application development, database design, database creation and maintenance, and spatial analysis.  Clients include state, local, and federal agencies. CGIA assists its clients in either bringing the technology into the organization or enhancing the existing use of GIS to meet a business need.

CGIA also provides technical, policy, and administrative support to the NC Geographic Information Coordinating Council, established in the General Statutes in 2001. The Council advises the Governor and the General Assembly on the steps necessary to efficiently develop and utilize GIS technology in the state. The Council’s 32 members and six standing committees represent a cross-section of stakeholders including all levels of government, utilities, economic development, and the surveying/engineering community. 

The Council provides a forum for public and private sector interests to convene regularly and sets a direction for North Carolina through preparation and the implementation of standards, policies, and guidelines. CGIA and the Council sponsor the biannual NC GIS Conference, which brings more than 1,000 people together to share ideas, challenges, and accomplishments with their peers.

In recent years, the Council has focused on the development of statewide datasets including orthoimagery, parcels, street centerlines, or addresses to support decision-making. Council members have championed each of these efforts, along with the NC OneMap initiative, the statewide data resource that provides layers of mapping data to public and private users via the Internet. NC OneMap capitalizes on current technology to make data available as services or through download, and is a source users can count on for public or private business purposes.