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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is an organized collection of computer hardware, software, geographic data, and personnel designed to efficiently capture, store, update, manipulate, analyze, and display all forms of geographically referenced information (ESRI 2000).

What is GIS?
What is GIS? A geographic information system (GIS) integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.  GIS allows us to view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts.  A GIS helps you answer questions and solve problems by looking at your data in a way that is quickly understood and easily shared.  GIS technology can be integrated into any enterprise information system framework.

GIS History
The Steuben County GIS was started in 2001 by undergoing a needs assessment study completed by The Schneider Corporation.  In the fall and winter of 2001, an implementation plan was developed.  This plan called for the conversion of all of the paper based maps for the Auditor, Assessor, Plan Commission, and Surveyor.  This included the tax parcel maps, zoning maps, drainage maps, soil maps and the associated information.  In the spring of 2003 the county obtained black and white photography and began the conversion of the parcel maps to digital maps.  Then the drainage layers including the legal ditches, legal title and watersheds followed, along with the soils data, zoning maps, and Assessor's land use maps. 

In the fall of 2005, the county released its first GIS website and has continued to increase the data layers and ease of use on the Internet.  Also in 2005, the county participated in the Indiana Map project. In the Spring of 2007, the county revised its website to a more user-friendly version allowing easier search functions and additional data inquiries.  Since then, the Surveyor's section corner tie cards have been added, zoning ordinance linked to the map and new searches for schools and voter information has been added. The County has continued to partner with the State and the Orthophotography Project through the State Geographic Information Officer, in cooperation with the Indiana Geographic Information Council.

Information Available
There are numerous data layers available and expandable within the legend on the left of the map.  Since the initial 7 data layers were developed, many new layers have been added and new data layers and sources are created each day.  As requests for data come to the GIS Office, many of those layers generally end up on the website.  Steuben County along with 89 other counties in the State of Indiana share base map data through the Indiana Map, please see links on the left.

GIS Disclaimer
Steuben County Digital Data is the property of Steuben County, Indiana. All graphic data supplied by Steuben County has been derived from public records that are constantly undergoing change and is not warranted for content or accuracy. The county does not guarantee the positional or thematic accuracy of the data. The cartographic digital file server is not a legal representation of any of the features depicted, and Steuben County disclaims any assumption of the legal status they represent. Any implied warranties, including warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose, shall be expressly excluded. The data represents an actual reproduction of data contained in Steuben County's computer files. This data may be incomplete or inaccurate, and is subject to modifications and changes. Therefore, Steuben County cannot be held liable for errors or omissions in the data. The recipient's use and reliance upon such data is at the recipient's risk. By using this data, the recipient agrees to protect, hold harmless and indemnify Steuben County and its employees and officers. This indemnity covers reasonable attorney fees and all court costs associated with the defense of Steuben County arising out of this disclaimer. The recipient may copy this data into computer memory or onto computer storage devices and prepare derivative works from it.