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News 2007

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This is where we'll announce what's happening in Belmont County GIS.  The most recent information is listed first.  See news from prior years for a historic review of the status of GIS in Belmont County.

December 2007

OGRIP has announced a new web site whose url is  This site promises more up-to-date information than the previous one.

At the Winter Conference for CCAO/CEAO, the importance of digital parcel mapping was made by lunch speaker Stu Davis, and the State of Ohio Treasurer highlighted parcel data for state-owned properties.

An open house was held December 10 for the county's new Emergency Operations Center, at which retired Director Dick Quinlin was honored.  A used plotter has been provided for the EOC and a seat of ArcGIS will be installed so maps can be made as needed at the EOC.

A GIS presentation was made to the Barnesville Elementary second graders December 13.  This is the third class year that this has been done.

GIS Information Meetings for 2008 are scheduled for the third Thursday of the even-numbered months at 9:00 am at the GIS Office.  All county departments who support data sharing and an enterprise-wide perspective are welcome.  Dates are as follows:  Feb. 21; Apr. 17; Jun. 19; Aug. 21; Oct. 16; and Dec. 18.

November 2007

The Belmont County Commissioners issued a Proclamation for GIS Day at their regular morning meeting on November 14. This marked the seventh consecutive year GIS Day was observed in Belmont County. Several county officials attended and made positive comments about the benefit of GIS to county government.

In the afternoon a presentation was made to second graders at Bellaire Elementary School. About 100 students learned about data available to them over the web, viewed several maps, and received a handout for coloring.

That evening a presentation was made to the Greater Wheeling Chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals at their monthly meeting held at Wheeling Park’s White Palace.

Commissioners Gordie Longshaw, Chuck Probst, Jr., GIS Director Don Pickenpaugh and Commission President Mark Thomas mark GIS Day by Proclamation November 14, 2007.
See the GIS Day Success Story at!



October 2007

Belmont County hosted the OGRIP Outreach Forum Monday, October 29 at 1:00 PM at the new Emergency Operation Center at 68329 Bannock Road, St. Clairsville.  Dave Ivan, Deputy Coordinator, Belmont County EMA, covered flood damage from the 2004 tropical storms Frances and Ivan, and other flooding and slip damage.  Don Pickenpaugh, GIS Director, reviewed the development of GIS in Belmont County.  Jack Hamilton of Jack A. Hamilton and Associates covered ground control his firm performed for countywide base mapping in 2001 and 2006.  Beverly Riddle, Program Administrator of the Belmont Soil and Water Conservation District, mentioned the use of GIS in stormwater management and the need for digital parcel mapping in farm plans.  Bill Shubat, Director of the Belmont County Board of Elections, reviewed how GIS mapping has facilitated their job in precinct mapping.  About 25 people attended the Forum.

The Ohio Chapter of URISA also be met at this facility at 11:00 AM. The upcoming LiDAR workshop November 8 is filled.  GIS Day events were discussed for the upcoming November 14 worldwide GIS Day.  A contribution to GIS Corps was approved.

Don't forget GIS Day which is on Wednesday, November 14 this year.  A presentation is planned for Bellaire Elementary that day.

The address ranges have been added to the centerline file for the portion of the Village of Yorkville that is in Belmont County.  Ramps have been attributed for Interstates 70 and 470.

New calibration baseline (CBL) data have been published for the Barnesville CBL by NGS.  See

September 2007

The remaining township road address ranges are now in the centerline file, completing attribution for all 16 townships.  A shapefile which contains centerlines for all non-null road names or road numbers can be downloaded from the Planimetrics page of this site.  This leaves the municipalities and private roads to attribute with left/right and from/to address ranges.

The 17th Ohio GIS Conference was held September 12-14 in Columbus. Glenn Sprowls, Executive Director of the County Engineers Association of Ohio, was recognized for his part in developing and planning GIS Conferences since the first one in 1991.  The underlying theme for this year's conference centered on parcel mapping and its critical role in any stable society.  Belmont County submitted a map of the Martins Ferry DFIRM for the Map Gallery.  The Gallery features maps from many agencies and how GIS is used in their daily operations.  Best Practices Awards went to Butler County, Knox County and the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission.

August 2007

Address ranges have been added to the road centerline shapefile for Richland and Smith Townships.  Half the townships are now done.  Mileposts for interstate and state roads have been added to the mapping at E-911.  Upon approval by the Commissioners, forms were submitted to the Census Bureau to participate in the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) program.  Voting precinct boundaries have been updated for the 2007 General Election, and are on the Aerial Mapping/MapGuide site; polling locations will not be shown.  A Civil3D crossgrade has been received which will replace Autodesk's Land Development Desktop CAD software.

The Floodplain Coordinator and I attended the annual Ohio Floodplain Conference in Dublin August 22 and 23.  Many concurrent sessions were offered and featured an inundation of information.  I learned that Belmont County was selected as one of the first counties for the Digital Flood Information Rate Map (DFIRM) project due to the high number of floods we experience.  This was before standards were developed for conversion later in 2005 (we received the preliminary DFIRM in December, 2003).  As a result, our mapping is not as accurate as that in counties which will be using data derived from the Ohio Statewide Imagery Program (OSIP).  This partly explains why floodplain boundaries do not agree with our 10 foot contours in many places.  We will have to wait for the next cycle of mapping improvements before better data can be incorporated, which will depend on funding, a big unknown.

July 2007

New building polygons from the 2006 mapping mission have been linked to house numbering data.  About 50,000 building outlines were matched to previous structures from the 2001 aerial mapping by using point-in-polygon analysis in ArcMap 9.2.  Other buildings were evaluated case-by-case for nearby construction, demolition or modification since 2001.

The Ohio Traffic Engineering & Highway Safety/Access Management Seminar was attended July 24-25.  GIS applications were demonstrated by Geauga County and asset inventory by Butler County.  Collision diagramming, crash data and GIS tools were presented by TSASS, Inc.    Ohio Highway Patrol cars have all been outfitted with GPS units as of April of this year,  which will assist in mapping crash locations.  Sign inventory and compliance studies were covered by MasterMind Systems, Inc.  The use of the shapefile continues to be prevalent in the practical, day-to-day operations of county and municipal governments.

June 2007

Corrected tiles of 2006 digital orthophotography have been received, as well as mosaics by growth area, township, and quarter county.  The countywide tiles fit on one DVD, and the mosaics on another. Copies have been made and distributed to the participants who contributed to the 2006 aerial mapping mission.  Copies will also be available to the public through the Engineer's Office.

Tax maps have been scanned by a summer student employee in the Engineer's Office.  New scans have been uploaded and links tested for all township sections, municipal sheets and township lots.  Thanks to the staff in the Engineer's Office for this important update!  The municipal cover sheets now have hyperlinks to individual sheets in the area of each circled sheet number - a nice touch.

May 2007 

Maps were made for Belomar to assist in potential buyouts of properties flooded in the September, 2004 rains.  Maps were also made for the Board of Elections for studying routes for delivery and setup of voting machines for the upcoming general election.  Address problems continue to be tackled to ensure precinct assignments are correct.

WinZip 11 Professional has been acquired.  This version allows for scripts to be scheduled and executed to email files to others automatically.  Tests between the GIS Office and the Engineer’s Office are underway.

Building polygons from the new mapping have been delivered, and there are over 62,000 mapped buildings in the county.  The job now is to match up these polygons with existing addressed polygons without losing any data!

April 2007

A new GIS server was installed early this month.  The computer is housed at Draft-Co, Inc. and features RAID1 hard drives and redundant power supplies.  Not enough can be said for Jason Davenport and his dedication and expertise in setting up the new machine and configuring it for the web.  AutoDesk MapGuide is installed as the software for web mapping.  Having this server will allow the county to update the Aerial Mapping data in a more timely fashion.  The Brown County Engineer's Office is also housing their GIS server at the same location beginning this month.

March 2007

Ohio Geographically Referenced Information Program (OGRIP) Forums, usually held the last Monday of each month, are continuing to provide informative topics and networking opportunities.  In January information on the NGS datasheets was covered, with coordinate values soon to be published in feet as well as meters.  The February Forum presentation was on sensitive aquifers in Ohio.  This month's was about soils information.  Digitized soils mapping can be downloaded for 82 of Ohio's counties.  An open house will be held June 19 at ODNR, Fountain Square, Columbus, and a new web site should be online by that time to bring  soils info together.

As one of two OGRIP At-Large Representatives for 2007, I would encourage more counties, especially from this neck of the woods, to take advantage of these educational opportunities.  Even though at times intimidating, it is still helpful to rub shoulders with those having a higher level of GIS expertise - and no one has bitten me yet!  Actually, all have been very pleasant to be around.

Each year an outreach meeting is held in a location other than Columbus.  Belmont County has the honor of hosting the October 29 Outreach Forum at our new EOC command center.

February 2007

The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) has released the new 2007 datum, called the NAD83(NSRS 2007).  They have also revised the Online Positioning User Service Rapid Static (OPUS-RS) program to allow as little as 15 minutes of observation data with dual frequency GPS receivers.  For more information see

January 2007

Aerials photos were received January 4 for the north half of the county and January 23 for the south half.  These are one foot pixel, 5000 foot tiles.  Aerials for the entire county can be viewed on the Aerial Mapping page; a download function has been added for the 2006 imagery.  The 2001 aerials are still viewable and downloadable as well.  Most of the half-foot pixel tiles were also received January 23.  Tiles have been compressed to MrSID format.  DVD or CD copies can be purchased at the Engineer's Office.

Here is a very informative paper on the differences between recreational grade GPS units (like the ones people get for gifts) and mapping grade units.  Thanks to GIS Manager Joe Merritt of Clinton County for this info.


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Last modified: 04/30/17