M.D. of Smoky River wants to inform its ratepayers and residents of a Regional Geographic Information System (GIS) they signed up for to provide benefits and municipalities with a plethora of information.

M.D. Public Works assistant Shaun Strom says there is a lot of useful information available that residents can access on the GIS Webmap.

“The CATALIS GIS Webmap is an interactive map and information system that gives residents the ability to access municipal information, such as infrastructure, development and property information through an online public portal,” says Strom.

“The public portal can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection and does not require an account to use,” he adds.

The municipality received grant funding to help purchase the service as a regional effort with Donnelly, Falher, Girouxville, and McLennan. Strom says each community has their own GIS portal that is accessible to the public.

“The service is meant to increase accessibility of municipal information to residents and connect them with this information, provide information to assist in decision-making, and assist in the management of municipal assets,” says Strom.

Strom says one great feature of the program is that residents can view their property from a “bird’s-eye-view” and can access publicly available information. He says this can include lot/block/plan information, elevation contours, electoral divisions, and municipal assets.

“The measurement tool is especially useful because it can be used by residents to assist in planning projects on their property, or if there is a need to determine distance or area,” says Strom, adding the resident could view their property on the GIS website and use the measurement tool to estimate the area of their dugout.

“Public information is also attached to property and assets on the interactive map and can be accessed by selecting the desired property location or asset. It can include information such as addresses, legal land locations, and assessment values.”

M.D. residents can access the CATALIS GIS Webmap by going to the M.D. of Smoky River’s website at www.mdsmokyriver.com and following the link on the homepage, then click the guest feature on the login page.

Similarly, residents of Donnelly, McLennan, Girouxville, or Falher can attain information through their own municipality’s website.

“Residents are always welcome to call the office for information, however the GIS webmap gives residents a greater ability to access the available information at any time through the GIS portal, at their convenience,” he explains.

“A good example of this would be if a resident wanted to know the total assessment of their property, but the municipal office is closed. Now that information can be found simply by clicking on the property in the GIS webmap.”

The webmap also helps to provide municipal employees with information and tools that are easily accessible through the consolidated digital program.

“It’s a great tool that can help in a lot of areas,” he says. “The Agricultural Service Board uses the GIS webmap and modules for performing and tracking weed and pest inspections in the field. Public Works and Operations uses the program as part of their daily operations in the field and office; administration
uses the GIS webmap in many different capacities including development and planning, project planning, accessing municipal information, and as a tool to communicate information in a visual and interactive way.”

If residents would like to learn more about using the program, they are asked to contact Strom by email at sstrom@mdsmokyriver.com

By Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 16, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   South Peace News   High Prairie, Alberta

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