County Spotlights Archive



  • 06-28-2018
    • 2018 "Excellence in GIS" award recipients!

      The Association's annual "Excellence in GIS" award is given out at the PA GIS Conference.

      The recipients of the County GIS Professionals Association of Pennsylvania's "Excellence in GIS" award are the members of the [now dissolved] Next Gen 9-1-1 subcommittee, led by Justin Smith (Cumberland County). 

      The County GIS Professionals Association of Pennsylvania formed a Next-Gen 9-1-1 Subcommittee in 2015 to make sure that counties were informed of and prepared for the increased demands that Next-Gen 9-1-1 would put on them and their GIS data. What started as email blasts and conference calls grew into to a solid partnership with PEMA that has given counties a seat table and has given them a voice on matters that very much affect them. Justin and his team are very passionate about the work they are doing and have been very effective at moving the effort forward. The group has provided county data stewards with training webinars, in person workshops, and draft data models, all in an effort to assist with the momentous task of getting ready for NG911.


      Back row: Justin Smith (Cumberland); Barry Hutchins (Lycoming); Mary K Seville (Fulton); Kevin Eaton (City of Philadelphia); Brad Shirey (Berks)

      Front row: Laura Simonetti (Mifflin); Cherin Abdelsamie (Clarion); Stacey Sekkes (Chester); Scott Zubek (Tioga)

      Not pictured: Nick Dow (Bucks); Steve Kocsis (Cambria); Dave Skoronski (Luzerne)

  • 06-29-2018
    • Featured: Chester County

      ​Online, interactive and printable mapping galleries enhance Chester County township services

      Chester County GIS products and services that municipalities can tap into: 

      • ChescoViews is a free, easy to use interactive property parcel viewer that allows you to search parcel information by providing an address, the parcel owner’s name, the Uniform Parcel Identifier (UPI), or the Parcel Identification Number (PIN). ChescoViews also allows you to search by street name or street intersection, and you can print an 8 1/2 x 11 or 11x17 map of the area you are interested in. 

      Because it includes roads, parcels, municipal boundaries, zip code boundaries, floodplains, streams, lakes, railroads, contour lines, soils, wetlands and aerial photographs, ChescoViews is particularly useful to planners, first responders, municipal engineers and others who require this information to provide services.

      • ArcGIS Online is a collaborative web GIS provided by ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute) an international supplier of GIS software. ArcGIS OnLine allows you to use, create and share maps, scenes, apps, layers, analytics and data.  It provides ready-to-use maps and applications over a secure site on the public Internet. In addition, the ready to use maps and applications can be modified to create items that are unique to your township.
      • Chester County GIS has created a Map Gallery – a collection of interactive web maps providing data and information about the county to our community. Existing maps feature county parks, township zoning, voting precincts and polling places, police departments, fire stations and hospitals, and school district locators. You can view these existing maps at and click on the “Explore Chester County” link to find the prompt for the interactive map gallery. 

      For information on how Chester County’s GIS Interactive Map Gallery can benefit your municipality, contact the County’s GIS team at (610) 344-6096.

      • Zoning map updates are available upon request! County GIS staff will work with municipalities to map any changes, and will provide digital and hard copy maps showing the updates. Zoning maps can also be made into online maps that can be included on a township’s web page.
      • In an effort to ensure that County data is as open, discoverable and usable as possible for municipality partners and for citizens, Chester County offers GIS Open Data (roads, parcels, addresses, trails, hydrants, etc.) for viewing or downloading. This open data is freely available to everyone to use and republish, without restrictions from copyright, patents or other mechanisms of control. For access to all GIS published open data, go to
      • There are nearly 600 miles of existing pipeline corridors that cross through the landscape of Chester County's 760 square miles. The Chester County Planning Commission’s Pipeline Information Center (PIC) webpage uses GIS to provide information to municipalities, residents, pipeline operators and other Chester County stakeholders – including farmers and non-profit land trusts and conservancies with large preserves, that are commonly crossed by pipelines.
      The Pipeline Information Center provides residents with a central location where they can find information on all aspects of pipeline issues including pipeline safety, the pipeline review process, and the latest information on pipeline project activity within Chester County and the surrounding region. 
      To access the Chester County Pipeline Information Center, go to
      Contact Us:
      By phone: (610) 344-6096
      By email:
  • 10-15-2018
    • Featured: Columbia County

      The County of Columbia GIS Department recently assisted the County of Montour with a countywide readdressing project.

      The project began in October 2016 and completed by September 2017.

      Approximately 11,000 addresses had their addresses changed – all municipalities in the County of Montour and two municipalities in the County of Northumberland – to permit emergency services to respond in a timely manner. Addresses out of sequence and address parity were the primary concern in the delay of emergency response times. 

      The Department collaborated with the United States Postal Service to transition from the old address to the new address. The USPS assisted their customers by forwarding mail from old to new address for one year.

      Three databases, one for each county, use the Esri Local Government Information Model schema and are stored in a Microsoft SQL Server versioned Enterprise geodatabase. An additional staging enterprise geodatabase that serves as direct input in the 9-1-1 Center was created. Database replicas between the county source enterprise geodatabase and staging enterprise geodatabase were created to facilitate the data update workflow. Accessory Python scripts are utilized to synchronize replicas among parent and child geodatabases.  Further table schema refinement was accomplished using SQL Server queries and views to achieve the functional specification of the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) schema requirements.

      The East Central Emergency Network (consolidated 9-1-1 center of Columbia and Montour) uses Logistic Systems, Inc. for their Computer Aided Dispatch.