Development District Map

LDDs and Geographic Information Systems

The following best practices were taken from the April 2008 NADO Publication: GIS Brings Economic Vitality to Appalachian Communities.

South Carolina Appalachian Council of Governments

Serving six counties in Upstate South Carolina, the South Carolina Appalachian Council of Governments (ACOG) is a partner in InfoMentum, a GIS-based tool that supports regional economic development. The partnership, which includes county governments, businesses and utilities throughout the Upstate region, has used InfoMentum to provide integrated research tools for business attraction since the mid-1990s.  Services provided by InfoMentum include customized GIS applications, an industrial properties database, fact finder database, special reports, technical assistance and InfoMap, a web-based interactive mapping tool.


Northwest Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission

Committed to supporting community development and planning within its eight-county region, the Northwest Pennsylvania Regional Planning and Development Commission (Northwest Commission) uses GIS software to gather, analyze and use various data. Th e Northwest Commission believes strongly in coordinating eff orts and sharing resources to improve communities, making them ready for residential and business growth. Toward this end, the Commission uses GIS technology to gather and manage spatial data. Its Neighborhood GIS program utilizes infrastructure and expertise already in place at the regional level to allow for increased GIS capacity at the local government level. A GIS sub-committee for the Northwest Pennsylvania Emergency Response Group is currently creating a GIS enterprise system to aid the region in emergency preparedness and response.


Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council

The Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Council (MOVRC) in West Virginia serves eight counties and 22 cities and towns located north, south and east of Parkersburg along the Ohio River. MOVRC uses GIS for transportation planning by identifying travel needs, addressing transportation issues and planning for future projects in the region’s metropolitan areas. MOVRC staff use GIS to conduct environmental overview studies to identify historical sites, wetlands, geological features and endangered species habitats. Once these sites are identified and mapped, transportation planners use the maps throughout the road planning process.


West Alabama Regional Commission

In March 2006, the West Alabama Regional Commission (WARC) launched a rural water system mapping initiative to aid local governments grappling with water line breaks and repairs. While many large water lines are mapped by the engineering companies who install them, smaller lines are typically installed by the water departments themselves to save money. These lines are often not mapped, causing problems when lines are in need of repair or replacement, resulting in longer delays in returning water to customers and increasing the chance for water to be wasted. With grant support from ARC, WARC selected 14 water systems from three of the most economically distressed counties in their region—Bibb, Hale and Pickens—for mapping. Over a two-year period, several college interns assisted WARC’s full-time staff members with data collection procedures.  They located and mapped water meters, fire hydrants, water tanks, pump stations, lines and control valves. The data were used to create and provide water system maps for the three counties.

 Mayor Dennis Stripling of Brent and WARC Planner Melissa Mayo display a map of Brent’s water system.


BTADD GIS Technician and staff from
the Maysville City Utility Department
locate and take GPS locations of manholes for the City Sewer System.

Buffalo Trace Area Development District

Recognizing that small local governments often lack the financial resources and staff expertise to use the latest technology applications as they design emergency vehicle and evacuation routes, the Buffalo Trace Area Development District (ADD), which serves five counties in Kentucky, recently launched a GIS Subscription Service for GIS use throughout the region. Using GeoSync XG, a GIS viewing software, the Buffalo Trace ADD provides GIS data to local governments, special districts, water districts, health departments and others. The group maintains the local data layers from each agency, distributes the shared data to all users in each agency, and provides technical support and data maintenance to ensure accuracy among other user agencies. This annual data subscription program allows smaller, rural counties to use GIS for a low-cost fee.