Press Release
November 25, 2020

New GIS Guide Helps Rural Towns

SALT LAKE CITY (Nov. 25, 2020) The Community Development Office within the Utah Department of Workforce Services released a new GIS guide for rural cities and towns on GIS Day, Nov. 18, 2020.

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a framework for gathering, managing, and analyzing geographic data. According to the new guide, it “allows a municipality to better manage their assets, communicate and collaborate, identify patterns, and combine a variety of geographic data in different ways.”

The guide, called “GIS Applications in Municipal Government: Strategies for Small Towns” is written especially for Utah’s rural towns.

“GIS technology is an accessible, low-cost way for small towns to create more advanced management and planning tools,” said Community Development Office director Keith Heaton. “However, smaller municipalities may not know that this is something that their own staff can learn to use. They don’t have to hire an expensive outside firm to do it!”

The guide provides an overview of the ways that GIS can be used by municipalities and how to get started with the technology. It recommends using GIS to:

  • Manage community infrastructure and assets
  • Estimate future growth demands
  • Optimize public safety information and reporting
  • Expand public engagement opportunities and platforms
  • Share, collect, and analyze critical physical and cultural municipal data

The guide and accompanying StoryMap are available at