Cambridge Water Department GIS

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The Cambridge Water Department is currently using the Citywide Geographic Information System (GIS) resources as a tool for updating, mapping, and analyzing the water distribution network. The City of Cambridge GIS is a computer-based system used for geographic data creation, maintenance, storage, analysis and mapping. The system is being implemented by the MIS Department on behalf of many other City departments.

The Cambridge Water Department has begun to use the computers and software of the GIS system to take the previously hand-drawn plans of the water pipes, etc. and present them in a complete package that is available to Cambridge staff either on the computer or printed out in map format. One of the main benefits of GIS is improved management of information within the Water Department as well as a central place to bring resources together.

A GIS can link other Cambridge data sets together by common location data, such as addresses, which helps departments and agencies share their data. By creating a shared database, one department can benefit from the work of another - data can be collected once and used many times. A majority of water and wastewater utilities use GIS technology to integrate all kinds of information and applications with a geographic component into one, manageable system. GIS lets us organize and manage the flow of water to serve homes and businesses by tracking the location and condition of water mains, valves, hydrants, meters and backflow devices.

The Water Department is currently taking advantage of some new GIS tools developed to allow our staff to maintain and change the water distribution network. These tools are developed to allow users to enter information into the GIS using software which checks to make sure the data entered is valid by having rules and quality control checks built in. By having the most accurate data, GIS can be used for more complex problem solving such as hydraulic modeling.



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