The Comprehensive Master Plan (Horizon Plan) for the City of Baton Rouge and Parish of East Baton Rouge was formally adopted by voter referendum in 1992. The plan included several action items targeted to develop a Geographic Information System (GIS) for the City-Parish. These action items were initiated in the fall of 1993, when the Mayor-President formed a GIS Committee to with a mission to establish consistent basemap information for the development of a GIS Program. Several departments participated in the development of the Program including the Planning Commission, Department of Information Services, Department of Public Works, and the East Baton Rouge Communications District. The GIS Program was started in an effort to increase efficiences and reduce costs with regard to storage, retrieval, maintenance, and manipulation of data important to the functions of various City-Parish departments.
In 1995, the City-Parish began a partnership with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to assist with building the foundations of the Parishwide GIS Program. The City-Parish entered into a memorandum of agreement with the USACE to identify specific departmental needs with respect to implementing a multi-participant GIS. The potential benefits of implementation improved communication, reduced costs, and shared resources. In 1997, the USACE completed the EBRGIS Needs Assessment which recommended a four-year implementation plan. Additional funding was secured in the year 2000 and work commenced to create the basemap layers that would become the foundation of the GIS database. Over the course of the next seven years, the City-Parish continued its partnership with the USACE and its contractors to develop and refine the basemap datasets. Upon delivery in 2007, the City-Parish Planning Commission took on the responsibility of maintaining and updating the majority of this information. In retrospect, much of the success of the Parishwide GIS Program can be attributed to the partnership with the USACE.
Since its inception, the primary goal of the Parishwide GIS Program has been to establish and implement an Enterprise GIS. This effort is intended to provide widespread access to common geospatial datasets and to drive applications built using the same data. Central to an enterprise solution is its ability to deliver information that is valid, current, organized, and understandable.
With the basemap developed and undergoing routine updates, the City-Parish turned its attention to an enterprise data model. In 2011, a project was kicked-off with consultants and a team of stakeholders from various City-Parish departments. Within one year, an authoritative data repository was put into place and has since served as the enterprise GIS database for authoring maps, performing analysis, and publishing web services for building web maps and other applications. The data model was developed using industry standards and continues to evolve as needed to serve business needs. Today, there are over 2.5 million records in the GIS data repository.
Over the course of the last two years, City-Parish leaders have set forth strategies which have brought the East Baton Rouge Parishwide GIS (EBRGIS) Program to the forefront. It is common for City-Parish departments to use GIS data and map products to enhance their internal operations and decision-making processes. Location technology is being used in public safety to improve emergency preparedness and planning, daily operations, and response. Also, the public has open access to a vast amount of authoritative data which in turn provides for government transparency and innovation.
During this same timeframe, the Department of Information Services has taken on a more prominent role in managing the EBRGIS Program. All City-Parish GIS Analyst positions are housed within the Department and their responsibilities include administering the various software solutions, assuring the integrity and quality of data, further developing the GIS database, publishing content, deploying applications, and coordinating the activities of the Enterprise GIS Team
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or contact the Department of Information Services GIS Division at (225) 389-3070.