City Rolls Out Virtual Images
Berkeley, Calif., is employing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to change complicated information into easily comprehendible images. A visit to the link at the city’s Web site, www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/gis, presents a virtual image of a user’s house that informs the user whether there is, for example, a creek beneath, as well as about permits, sewers, storm drains, and crime and traffic patterns in the area.
A property can be accessed in multiple ways, including by address, owner of record, or simply by clicking on a map.
Police and fire departments typically utilize GIS to decide where to spend their resources. For example, a single click calls up a map of car thefts in Berkeley.
GIS enables access to three separate databases: crime, demographics, and licenses. Most of the city’s GIS specialists are located throughout Berkeley’s staff, including the new crime analyst at the police department.
Although certain residents expressed concerns at a recent City Council meeting that GIS technology might result in privacy invasions, Pat DeTemple, Berkeley’s GIS division managers, notes that the data is already public.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Contra Costa Times (CA) (08/11/06) P. F4; Snapp, Martin .