GREENSBORO, NC --The Rhino Times reports that Guilford County's Chief Information Officer Barbara Weaver is retiring at the end of this month. You may remember her as presiding over the county's website redesign fiasco a couple of years ago. But congratulations to Ms. Weaver for going out on a high note and leaving behind a wonderful new piece of technology for the residents of Guilford County.
I'm referring to the County's new Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Data Viewer. While it requires the download and installation of Microsoft's proprietary Silverlight, that's done easily enough with a click and the rewards are great.
The Data Viewer is smooth and speedy at its primary function, which is to access property records, but it also adds some interesting tools such as community information, which reports things like the elected representatives for a property as well as nearby parks.
The viewer also has some sophisticated drawing tools that allow for the measurement of distances and area or to get information about all properties within a shape you draw. I used this yesterday to get the length of a circuit on some trails around Lake Brandt
One can also overlay maps from other sources and perform thematic mapping, whereby one selects an area of the map then applies color coding to the properties within based on criteria such as year built, value or property type. One can even export data from the map results.
Thank you, Ms. Weaver (and the other, I'm sure, good staff people who helped) for bringing us this state-of-the-art tool for better understanding our community.