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Caldwell County GIS Development

Spatial Data and GIS in Western North Carolina

Caldwell County, known as the "Gateway to the Blue Ridge", is located in Western North Carolina at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The county has a land area of 474 square miles containing 43,000 property parcels and a population of 75,000 persons. The county is distinguished by its pleasant climate with definite seasonable changes and dramatic elevation changes. The topography rises from 1000 feet along the southern edge of the county to greater than one mile at "Grandfather Mountain" on the county's Northwestern edge. Primary occupations in the county include; furniture and textile manufacturing and agriculture.

In March of 1990, Caldwell County began implementation of the first phase of an organizational geographical information system (GIS), by contracting with Westinghouse Landmark to remap all of the property parcels within the county. Prior to this project, the county had relied upon 1200 hand drawn tax maps at a variety of scales. Furthermore, the county had three entire townships on the northern edge of the county that had never been mapped. The primary goal of the first phase of GIS development was to acquire accurate property parcel information for 100% of the county in a digital format.

GIS Public Access with ArcView

Upon completion of the remapping project, the need for a software program for accessing this new digital data arose. The Caldwell County GIS Department developed an ArcView based Public Access Program for county staff and the general public to utilize for accessing the property parcel information contained within the GIS. Since development, this application has been deployed in five (5) county departments and on numerous computer terminals dedicated to public access. Users can access a variety of GIS information, such as property ownership, municipal boundaries, detailed soil information and aerial photography with a simple click of the mouse. Daily usage by both staff and customers has been tremendous, forcing staff to add additional terminals soon after deployment.

GIS Public Access with Visual Basic

Recently with the addition of new GIS data layers, the Caldwell County GIS Department began searching for a new GIS Public Access Program. Due to increasing personal computer usage in the county, staff began working on a Visual Basic public access application. Staff are now in the final stages of beta testing this application. Within the next few weeks the county is set to deploy this application on twenty (20) additional terminals located throughout the organization. Users will have access to additional GIS data layers including; zoning, appraisal, watershed and election district information. Users will also have expanded functionality including the ability to move the mouse over features and have information displayed through the use of pop-up windows.
NOTE: You can click the picture on the right for a larger version.

Internet Based GIS Public Access

Community Contact
Greg Cronk
GIS Coordinator
Phone (828) 757-1330
Fax (828) 757-1295

In the fall of 1998, Caldwell County will deploy an Internet based GIS access application. Users of the World-Wide-Web will be able to access numerous GIS data layers from home and their offices. The Internet GIS Public Access will be a Visual Basics application utilizing Environmental Systems Research Institutes' MapObjects technology. Users will be able to access property ownership, detailed soils, zoning information, municipal limits, watershed, and appraisal information for any parcel of property within the county. Furthermore, information such as watershed, soils and zoning will have a hyperlink to additional WWW sites where users can obtain additional information such as county zoning ordinances and watershed regulations and soil surveys.

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