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City Views

City Views presents commentary from staff on the latest projects, initiatives, and successes.

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Jul 22

What is GIS?

Posted on July 22, 2014 at 10:59 AM by OCOM Specialist

By Matt Viverito, GIS Analyst, and Joanna Grey, Customer Service Representative

GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems, a computer system designed to analyze, manipulate, capture, and present all types of geographic spatial data. The importance of having a GIS is to assist the city staff in making key decisions and to help them and the public to visualize the geographic spatial data, often in a map format. The maps and GIS data are accessible in a variety of ways, which include web mapping applications, mobile solutions, and hard copy paper maps.

Within the Department of Public Works GIS assists employees in identifying locations, collection of City assets, and status of services. For example, the staff can quickly locate a house address and identify pipe locations in relation to the parcel boundary.  The Public Works crews utilize maps to track when and how the sewer and stormwater piping has been cleaned and serviced. Operations staff uses mobile tablets to collect new City signs that are required to be replaced by VDOT’s 10 year reflectivity replacement program.  

How can GIS help Falls Church citizens? Located on the City’s website is a map gallery with maps that are constantly being updated. To view the gallery go to and click on “Map Gallery page.” It will take you to the following page where you can view a variety of maps such as Trails and Parks, Voting Wards, and Road Network. Citizens can use these maps to better understand and enjoy the Little City.

For those who are interested to learn more about GIS and mapping please plan to attend
GIS Day on November 19. It is a nationwide event that the City of Falls Church will be participating in. If you have any further questions please feel free to contact Matt Viverito.