Mapping Kāpiti: Getting the gist of GIS
Published 26 Apr 2022
Whether you’re planning a property development or looking for dog walking spots, Council has the maps and images to help you make informed decisions.
Our Geographic Information System (GIS for short) is a crucial Council service, informing both our work and providing valuable information to the community for many uses.
Geospatial Intelligence Manager Keith Miller says he and his team look after a range of maps, from those showing property boundaries and the District Plan, to three waters assets, tsunami evacuation zones and other emergency situations, and aerial photographs from across the years.
“Our job is to make sure these maps and images are up to date, accurate and relevant in a changing social and environmental landscape,” Mr Miller says.
“We have a wide variety of maps and the community use them for many different purposes. Home buyers can view the boundaries and details of houses they’re interested in, dog owners can see where they can walk their hounds and architects can use our contour data to plan new builds.
“With aerial photos dating back to the 1940s they are also a wonderful resource for taking a look at the past.”
GIS also plays an important role in Council’s work. It is used by operations staff to locate infrastructure that may need repair, to generate maps for LIM reports and to model future urban growth to help plan where new houses could be built and where new water services will be required.
Mr Miller is supported in his role by Geospatial Analyst Sheena Broom and says both bring a love of data, maps and technology to their jobs.
“I worked in IT and web development before branching out into GIS, and Sheena trained as a geologist before becoming a chemistry teacher. She then returned to her love of maps and geography by training in GIS.
“It’s a rich and rewarding career. GIS connects data to maps, as almost every piece of data is located in an actual place. Maps allow people to see connections and patterns in the data, and to make decisions based on these.
“It’s really satisfying to be able to use these tools to help people solve problems and plan their futures in big and small ways.”