Lake County GIS system is an asset benefiting many

2013-09-16T00:00:00Z Lake County GIS system is an asset benefiting many
September 16, 2013 12:00 am

When I came to the Lake County surveyor’s office a half-a-year ago, I immediately found myself in the midst of a GIS (Geographic Information System) with an excellent reputation.

Coming from a private engineering firm, I have personally experienced GIS across the country. The Lake County GIS started 15 years ago in the surveyor’s office under the careful leadership of George Van Til. During that time, it has expanded to nine other departments including the sheriff, auditor and highway departments.

We are partnering with more than a dozen other communities in the county to expand the accuracy and accessibility of the system.

The Lake County enterprise GIS is available to all taxpayers online at, reflecting data that is accurate and maintained on a daily basis. identifies more than 50 varied layers of useful information available to the public. Within the last six months, the website has experienced 24,000 users with 75,000 hits where about a third of the users were new to the system.

The countywide GIS is an economic development tool that reaches from the average citizen looking for property or tax information to engineers, lawyers or developers.

Since its inception, the average cost of the system has been a modest $300,000 a year to build and maintain. The cost now is minimal at around $20,000 for licensing. Our GIS was awarded the 2012 state award for excellence.

My hope is that the GIS will continue to expand and be embraced by all.

- Shannan Lefever, Porter

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