The first step in most GIS enabled planning projects is to assemble a set of resource layers and maps. Typically, these layers can be broken down into two categories: natural resources, and human-made (built) resources. The following list describes the layers and maps I typically produce for various projects. Most projects do not include all of these layers, although comprehensive plans can sometimes come very close. The maps can be produced via traditional paper maps printed at various sizes, saved as PDF documents or digital images, or they can be displayed via a desktop or web-based viewing application . These digital solutions have the advantage of being able to combine and visualize the various layers in any combination the viewer wants.

Layers and maps we typically include in our projects

Base Land Uses
Roads Property Class
Property Boundaries Agriculture (Uses and Districts)
Hamlet Detail Farmland (Uses and Soils)
Aerial Photos Historic Sites
Topographic Government Owned Land, Parks, and Recreation
Topography Public and Protected Land
Contours Fire Districts
Slope School Districts
Watersheds Special Districts (Water, Sewer, Lighting)
Water Infrastructure
Water Features Tax Exempt Properties
Flood Hazards Land Use/Land Cover
Aquifers Land Regulation
Land Zoning
Bedrock Geology Empire Zone
Surficial Geology Coastal Zone
Soils: Adirondack Park
Septic Limitations Future Land Use (Conceptual Zoning Districts)
Depth to BedrockWater Table Public/Committee Input
Drainage and Permeability Workshop/Survey Map
Flood and Pond Frequently Community Places

The ability to produce these maps depends largely on the availability of the required GIS data. Some layers are more readily available than others. For example, mapping of aquifers will require the services of a hydro-geologist. Mapping of tax exempt properties will require extra time consulting with the local tax assessor. Special districts and infrastructure may require scanning and digitizing of hard-copy maps.
If you’re interested in finding out more about our mapping capabilities, feel free to give us a call or send us an email.
(Printable copy with some sample maps and graphics: GISMaps&Layers.pdf)