The City of Des Moines, Polk County, and several other Des Moines area municipalities partner to maintain the Des Moines Area Regional GIS. The Regional GIS is a repository of mapping equipment, geographic data, and digital maps hosted by the City of Des Moines and maintained collaboratively by the Regional GIS partners to support public safety response and emergency management throughout the Des Moines area.
The Regional GIS began in 2003 when the City of Des Moines received a Byrne Justice Assistance (BJA) Grant to develop a GIS covering the Des Moines metropolitan area. The implementation of the Regional GIS was completed in 2009. The GIS Division of the City of Des Moines IT Department is responsible for hosting the Regional GIS database repository, maintaining necessary server infrastructure and software, and coordinating the partnership. The other partners are responsible for maintaining GIS data in the repository for their respective jurisdictions and maintaining necessary desktop computers and software.
The objectives of the Regional GIS partnership are to:
• Develop quality regional GIS maps and databases critical to public safety and emergency management
• Create regional GIS data and map standards
• Provide equipment, tools, and training for the maintenance of regional GIS maps and databases
• Disseminate GIS maps and databases to public safety answering points (PSAPs) serving the Des Moines metro area
• Deliver online regional GIS maps to the public
Supporting the use of GIS to quickly and accurately dispatch 911 emergency services is the primary purpose of the Regional GIS. There are three PSAPs serving the communities in the Des Moines metropolitan area – City of Des Moines, Polk County, and Westcom. For daily dispatch operations and special circumstances like mutual aid calls, each PSAP requires standardized GIS data and maps for the entire Des Moines metropolitan area. In addition, the Regional GIS data and maps are available to any municipal or county service requiring metro-wide maps.