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Erie County Office of Geographic Information Services receives statewide award

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Fri, Oct 30th 2020 05:00 am

Erie County one of only five organizations across NYS to receive 2020 Fight Against COVID Application/Dashboard Award

The Erie County Office of Geographic Information Services was presented with a 2020 Fight Against COVID Application/ Dashboard Award in recognition of the public dashboard the office created to track coronavirus case counts in Erie County. One of only five organizations statewide receiving the award from the New York State GIS Association, OGIS developed the COVID-19 dashboard in March to support ongoing county efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The OGIS has been a critical component of Erie County’s response to COVID-19 through the dashboard and through the development and deployment of other COVID-related public information. As the pandemic has progressed, GIS has kept current information at residents’ fingertips and has been a significant resource for county government and for the public,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said. “It is great to see our team at OGIS receive this recognition and I thank them for the good work they are doing for Erie County.”

The Office of GIS also offers support for the COVID-19 response with map applications featuring countywide COVID testing sites, virtual learning support centers, and a school district dashboard. In addition, GIS is supporting local growers by connecting them with local consumers through the ErieGrown site locator map.

The OGIS is a branch of Erie County’s Department of Environment and Planning. Established in the late 1990s, the OGIS developed one of New York's first county online mapping viewers and offers a wide range of GIS data and GIS technical support to local government agencies. The OGIS is tasked with developing, maintaining, coordinating and distributing GIS data and technology to Erie County government agencies and residents.

Commissioner of the Department of Environment and Planning Thomas Hersey said, “In today’s informational world, the work that our GIS team does is invaluable, giving governments and people the data they need to make informed decisions and plan for the future. We work hard to ensure that data is accurate, timely, and as accessible as possible so that county residents can find answers to their questions.”

Director of OGIS Lisa Matthies-Wiza shared appreciation for both the award and the “consistent hard work” GIS analysts Michael Gangemi and Michael Ruffino have performed during the county’s COVID-19 response.

“We are honored to be recognized by our peers in the NYS GIS community, especially for work that has provided such an important public service,” Matthies-Wiza said.

The other 2020 GIS Applications/Dashboard awardees were the Livingston County Planning Department; the Rockland County Planning Department; the Suffolk County Office of GIS; and New York University.

Geographic Information Services addresses the GIS needs of the county's government, its 44 municipalities and its 919,040 residents. To serve the county government, the OGIS produces and distributes geographic data, creates maps, provides GIS technical support and develops and hosts web-based mapping services catered to the specific needs of interested departments. In addition to distributing geographic data and providing technical support to the county's municipalities, the OGIS assists local governments by holding GIS user group meetings, by working toward the development of countywide GIS procedures and standards, and by hosting the Internet Mapping Consortium.

For additional information on the Erie County OGIS, visit https://www2.erie.gov/gis/; or on the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, visit https://www2.erie.gov/environment/.

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