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History of Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

In 1986, Miami-Dade County commenced the development and implementation of a Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This effort was coordinated by the County’s  Information Technology Department (ITD.)  Funding for this new venture came through various county departments that were identified as the first departments  that would most benefit from GIS technology.  The three founding departments were the Miami Dade Police Department, Department of Solid Waste Management and the Building Department.  The countywide street network was funded by the Transit Department and served as the foundation for other layers to be developed for a number of years.  Environmental Systems Research Institute's (ESRI) ArcInfo software on a VAX/VMS platform were selected  and the system applications were installed. The street network was the first base map layer created and serving as.

The first production system to be developed was the Crime Analysis System for the Miami-Dade Police Department.  The advantages of GIS proved beneficial.  Several years later, a joint project with Florida, Power & Light was approved for the develop of a parcel base-map. The layers developed under this project provided an essential level of detail for many County departments.  The project was completed in 1993.  In 1999, Digital Ortho-photography for 926 square miles was added as another base layer to GIS. Today the County obtains high resolution photography on a bi-yearly schedule and lower resolution on the off years for a coverage area of approximately 1200 square miles.  

The need for the  County's GIS continues to grow and accordingly the services provided and the supporting infrastructure also continue to expand.  GIS currently maintains a fully redundant ArcSDE servers for various platforms, including development, Internet, Intranet and CITRIX. Additionally, Miami Dade’s GIS maintains separate and secure infrastructures to support the County’s 911 and 311 systems. 

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