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Get to know your city, county with updated Geographic Information System


The Geographic Information Systems for Bay City and the rest of Bay County are about to flip the switch to the next level of all you need to know about where you live and work.

The added data will go online right about when county Transportation Planner and GIS Manager Jay Anderson presents the improvements to the Bay County of Board of Commissioners Tuesday, April 12, at 4 p.m.

It will make the first time the city of Bay City has put its GIS information online for the public, said Laura Anderson, who helped the city work with the county for the new and improved GIS services. The city’s Laura Anderson and the county’s Jay Anderson are married.

The GIS software will add aerial photos taken in 2015, the locations of precincts and polling places, fire and police departments, the location of all government buildings and township sections and flood zones, said County Executive Thomas L. Hickner.

It’s a level of detail not seen before in the county GIS system since it started in the 1990s.

“The technology has improved dramatically, as you can imagine, ” Hickner said.

The aerial photography is so precise that the GIS system will clearly show anything as small as 6 inches across, Jay Anderson said. Resolution of 2-3 inches is possible, he said, but that would have come with increased cost.

To keep costs down, the aerial photography by an Ohio company was done at the time as the same work for surrounding counties, he said. “We actually do it as a joint project with neighboring counties.”

In fact, the latest version of GIS is product of work between both the county and the city, which had separately started and operated their own GIS systems.

For the update, the city and county worked together, Hickner said. City Manager “Rick Finn has been really great to work with, so we established working group of city and county staff,” he said.

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