Putnam County Commissioners Gene Beck, Jim Baird and Kristina Warren are considering a request from the State of Indiana to apply for a Homeland Security Grant of $14,000 to be part of a statewide effort to create a geographic information systems (GIS) map.
Roger Koelpin with Homeland Security appeared before the commissioners to ask them to apply for the grant and to answer any questions.
"We're trying to get a statewide overview of what exists in the landscape to set up response so if you need folks to come in to help in an emergency they will have a good map of the area," said Koelpin.
He added that they are trying to create a standards-based architecture that can be rolled over into a statewide data set.
Besides providing a map of the county, the GIS data could be used to determine asset values in an area damaged by floods or tornados.
"It lays out like a checkerboard and layers go over. We can look at an affected area and determine very quickly the amount of damages in order to look for assistance," said Koelpin.
"This can work for economic development. Several other counties have used this on their Web site," added Putnam County Economic Development Director Bill Dory.
Over 40 Indiana counties and more than a dozen Indiana cities and towns make the GIS data available for online viewing and download.
"Because of these efforts, it's possible to realize the vision of seamless statewide map, that ties together the most current and accurate data available throughout the state," related Koelpin.
This resource, called the IndianaMap, will facilitate a wide range of local, regional and statewide activities to support needs including economic development, property tax assessment, E-911 emergency response, Homeland Security infrastructure protection and disaster recovery.
It will also affect FEMA flood map modernization, water quality management, parolee and offender management and transportation planning.
The "layers" in the GIS data would include land parcels, point addresses, local roads and jurisdiction boundaries.
Commissioner Jim Baird suggested putting together a group of everyone who uses or might use this data in the county.
"I'd like to have a committee sit down and review this so we don't duplicate efforts," said Baird.
The group decided to table applying for the grant until that committee could be put together to discuss various needs, software and other uses for the information.