default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

City of Lodi offering new mapping software on its website

GIS lets people report maintenance issues to city, research property

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Friday, September 7, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:04 am, Fri Sep 7, 2012.

Need to report a burnt out street light? Want to see what permits the city has issued for your home or for one you are thinking about buying? Ever wonder what type of utility pipes are around your property?

Sitting in front of your own computer, you now have access to all of this information through the city's new mapping system.

This week, the city relaunched the geographic information system on its website. The mapping software allows both city employees and members of the public to search for an address. Then the program scans data and overlays maps to provide a variety of information.

The city first created the GIS system in the mid-1990s, but as they have added additional items to track, it became antiquated, city engineer Charlie Swimley said.

In March, the Lodi City Council hired Interwest Consulting Group to design, install and configure a new system. On Aug. 28, the council received an update on the progress.

"This is a much simpler tool to use than our (previous) one, which is a bit convoluted," city manager Rad Bartlam said.

The mapping software includes 120 layers of information, including the location of fire hydrants, water valves, bus routes, wastewater pipes and manhole covers.

The technology is especially useful for people looking to buy a house in Lodi, city staff said.

One of the main additions to the map is that it now includes any city permit information so brokers, real estate agents and potential homebuyers will be able to see what work has been done on the house, Interwest employee Steve Gay said.

The map also includes photos of landmarks, like the arch in Downtown. It also lets people connect to Google Street View to see the front of a property or Bing Maps to see aerial images.

Bartlam said the new system has broad uses for the public.

"In Community Development, we are visited routinely by people interested in buying a property (and) wanting to know what's the size of the parcel and what's the permit history," he said.

The system will also reduce staff time for more complicated requests, Bartlam said. For example, a broker might want to see if a property has access to storm drains or nearby water mains. Now they will be able to use their own computer, Bartlam said, and can even access the data when the city is closed on most Fridays or on the weekends.

"It's another way in which customers can access data or do business with the city that does not require them to come down to City Hall," Bartlam said.

City staff is hoping the new, improved mapping system will encourage the public to use the city website to report a variety of infrastructure issues, like a busted street light.

Employees will also be able to use the information when out making repairs in the city's cars, Gay said.

"It has a variety of information to support the work crews as they perform a work order to maintain any of those assets," he said.

Councilman Alan Nakanishi did voice concerns about whether the system could cause harm to the city. Since Sept. 11, 2001, Nakanishi said there has been a continuous conversation about homeland security. He worried that the maps could make city infrastructure vulnerable.

Bartlam said if someone wanted to damage city infrastructure they could just look for a manhole cover or search the Internet.

"The reality is that in today's world with the ability to access information, it's there anyway," Bartlam said. "You can bring up Bing and Google and look up locations of businesses and owners. If you want to do a burglary, the information is there."

Not all of the city's available public information is tied into the mapping system.

There is no permit history or other information available for city law enforcement personnel, Bartlam said.

Property ownership for all residents is not available online through the mapping software, even though people can get it through the San Joaquin County Assessor's Office or at the City Hall counter.

Councilman Bob Johnson questioned whether the city should offer property ownership information.

"Are we dialing this thing down so tightly we are not getting the biggest bang for our buck?" he asked.

But even without the information, Johnson said the resource is an exciting opportunity.

"This can be a tremendous asset to the public," Johnson said.

Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at maggiec@lodinews.com. Read her blog at www.lodinews.com/blogs/citybuzz.

More about

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.


Popular Stories


Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 86


Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists