State offers access to huge collection of maps
May 16, 2011
NEW — 8 a.m. May 16, 2011
The information for Google and Bing maps often comes from government map data — and the state is making the process easier for everyone to find the data.
The state collects a huge amount of geographic data. In order to make the information more accessible, the state Department of Information Services last week launched the Washington State Geospatial Portal — a source for maps, interactive mapping applications and geographic data hosted on government websites.
Whereas people used to have to search through multiple state government agency websites to find map data, the information is now in a single place.
Through the Geospatial Portal, users can:
- Download data to view in other map programs, like Google Earth or Bing Maps.
- Access interactive mapping applications, featuring the ability to select and zoom areas, choose layers, and print. Interactive maps included on the site show information such as broadband speeds, sales tax rates and comparisons of legislative districts.
- View or download maps showing a variety of information, including county population densities, tsunami and flood hazard areas, or soils and farming data.
The site’s creators also plan to include links to maps and data held by cities and counties in Washington. Local governments can help expand the site by sending a link to their online maps and data files to state GIS Coordinator Joy Paulus at email@example.com.