GIS in Pima County began with the approval of a $5 million general obligation bond issue by voters in 1986.
In December of 1986, a project manager was hired by the Development Services Department and began assembling staff and resources to implement the system.
The Interactive Mapping and Automated Geographic Information Network (IMAGIN) Project was formed in 1987 under the County Manager's office. It consisted of a small staff, a technical advisory group and a policy committee. The Pima County Assessor's Office and five County departments were represented on each committee: Planning and Development Services (now the Development Services Department), Transportation, Wastewater Management (now Regional Wastewater Reclamation), Parks and Recreation (now Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation), and Management Information Services. The primary goal for these participating departments was to develop, establish, and maintain a comprehensive and integrated GIS system for Pima County.
From 1988-1990, The IMAGIN project conducted an extensive GIS demonstration project using hardware donated by various vendors and ARC/INFO software leased from the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI).
In 1988, a user needs analysis was conducted, and in 1990 hardware and software was purchased.
The bond funds were exhausted by the end of 1992. In order to continue to provide GIS services, the IMAGIN Project became the Engineering and Geographic Information System (EGIS) Department.
County reorganization in 1993 created the Technical Services Department, managed by Rick Harrington, to include the functions provided by EGIS. Technical Services became a division of the Department of Transportation in 1995. In 2006 the area was reorganized as the DOT Geographic Information Services Division, managed by Jack Lloyd. In September 2009 the division was transfered to the Pima County Information Technology Department. It continues to provide GIS products and services to the Board of Supervisors, County Administrator, Pima County departments, other government agencies, consultants, and the public.
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