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Engineering Department

(973) 593-3060
(973) 593-4955
Hartley Dodge Memorial Building
50 Kings Road
Madison, NJ 07940 (map)

Geographic Information System

What has been accomplished in Madison's GIS?

Madison retained a GIS consultant to work on basic parcel mapping on Dec. 28, 1998 (R178-98) and on Sept. 13, 1999 (R125-99).  On April 20, 2000, a compact disk was published containing the parcel maps and several basic layered coverages such as roads, parcels, storm sewer, sanitary sewer, fire hydrant, utility pole locations, etc.  There has been additional work done to add basic topography and State digital aerial color photography to the collection of coverages.  In the latter part of 2001, several meetings were held with the County of Morris in order to coordinate the use of updated GIS information including high resolution digital aerial orthophotography  and georeferenced digital tax maps in exchange for periodic maintenance by the Borough staff. Many internet based coverages have been produced by staff and posted to the Rosenet (under Engineering Department/Borough Maps) for access and use by the public, thereby providing evidence of product for the initial costs of data acquisition.  There are also Computer Aided Drafting/Design (CADD) drawings available on the Rosenet, as accomplished through staff, although access time/file size is large.

How does Madison benefit from the GIS data?

Businesses and governments alike are plagued by having too much information in a relatively inaccessible format distributed over many source locations.  A Geographic Information System provides a way to centralize and organize information electronically so that decisions regarding Land Use, Planning, Zoning, Building, Assessment, Collections, Emergencies, Infrastructure, Maintenance etc. are well informed and less time consuming.  The expenses associated with lack of information and accessibility are real.  Centralized access make the goals of open government far easier to realize and can reduce the burden of staff addressing individual informational needs and requests and allow them to proceed with assigned responsibilities with less interruption.

Repetitive work efforts in individual land use departments can be accomplished at a significant time savings.

For example, the Assessor’s office may need to produce a 200 foot radius map and certified list of property owners for an applicant on a specific land parcel.  Convention requires the engineer draw the map, the assessor create the list, and check recent land sales prior to certification.  The GIS can locate the parcel on the tax map, delineate a 200 foot radius buffer, identify the adjoining owners and print out map and list within seconds.  The Borough of Madison expects to have this capability very soon at a moderate programming cost.  The system can be further refined with small departmental investments to be operable by the public or any individual assumed to have little experience with the task at hand. Other examples of target applications:

A Planning official may wish to access to access the history of planning actions on a certain parcel of land, and current status of that parcels application with the Borough.

The Zoning Official might need enforcement actions on a certain parcel of land over a certain period of time.

The Building and Construction Official may need permits issued or outstanding for a certain parcel over a certain period of time.

The Engineer may want a colorized map of all road projects accomplished over the past ten years to project the required investments over the next ten years.

The Planner may want to analyze certain characteristics of a region for applying new ordinances or restrictions.

The Electric Utility may need pole numbers and electric power available within a certain distance of a certain location.

The Water Utility may need the age, size, depth, pressure and locations of a main or service near a specific area or intersection.

Police and Fire departments may require emergency response data such as hydrant location and capacity or accident histories at certain locations.

All the above tasks can be accomplished with a relatively small programming investment so that staff and the public can access information easily.  The Borough of Madison has made strategic investments in GIS, internet and computer technologies which make the access to information simpler to accomplish.  With the information systems infrastructure in place and creative management, distributing time-saving applications to staff and the public has had major technical and logistical hurdles removed.  As always, easy access to information benefits us all.