GIS is a system that maps, manages, creates, and analyzes all sorts of data and is the bridge to not only showing where things are located but what those things are and why they’re located there. It’s looking at data, climate, demographics (you know those Census questionnaires you get), and location to show patterns and relationships in a spatial, or geographic, way. In 2021, the City of Rochelle, in a collaborative effort with Cultivate Geospatial, created this position to help assess and manage the GIS needs for the city and to create a robust program that will benefit both the city staff and the residents of Rochelle. Previously, the various departments had their own independent ways of mapping their assets and keeping track of where things were located. My job is to make our mapping needs more cohesive, coordinated, help make features and assets easier to find, and web and map services easier to use – not just by city staff but by you, the residents. Everything in the City is somehow tied to GIS whether it is the location of a restaurant, a watermain, overhead wires, or where the stop signs happen to be and all things in-between. Our goal is to put everything in one place and to make it easily accessible online through the City’s new software so that any GIS needs can be reported quickly and handled accordingly.

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