Special Achievement in GIS Award

2017 SAG Award Winners

Planning Development Services, Kenton County and Planning Development Services, Kenton County

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Project Goal

Planning and Development Services (PDS) of Kenton County, Kentucky and LINK-GIS showcase a modern, collaborative approach to GIS and planning workflows. GIS is integrated into numerous planning tasks to generate timely, focused analysis to inform local decision makers and ignite discussions on important current and long-range planning initiatives.

These initiatives are enriched by harnessing the power of dynamic web maps and other multimedia content to tell PDS’s story to the public, and also to receive feedback from the public. This creates a greater sense of transparency and accountability to the public and administration.

The Web GIS pattern is used extensively across initiatives from Direction 2030 (PDS’ Comprehensive Plan for Kenton County) to NKYmapLAB, which is intended to keep the public, citizens, and elected officials better informed about long-range planning implementation projects, quality of life issues, and economic development projects.
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Business Problem Solved

How does PDS/LINK-GIS keep the community’s 30+ year investment in planning and GIS at the forefront of public discussion? PDS/LINK-GIS is well-positioned to understand that many projects benefit from a mapping and/or spatial analysis component. However, the challenge lies is sharing that expertise with the appropriate stakeholders. PDS is accountable to 19 cities, the unincorporated county and 165,000+ citizens, all of which includes changing mayors, city administrators, city councils, commissions and other boards. These groups typically deal with fire and police public safety issues, personnel items, operating budgets, tax rates, and day-to-day city operations.

PDS/LINK-GIS has taken a cue from Big Data, and made its 14TB of data easier to analyze, visualize, and to share. This approach has helped PDS/LINK-GIS keep each plan update from sitting on the shelf. In addition, it has helped move beyond “just” printed maps to showcase GIS as an analytical tool and a solution.

Technology Implemented

PDS/LINK-GIS uses Esri products to integrate maps into many platforms. Currently, 5 public and 3 secured custom JavaScript map viewers are hosted on the GIS website Additionally, ArcGIS Online (AGOL) is used for embedding maps into the websites managed by PDS -, and The NKYmapLAB initiative has created over 26 collaborative projects using story maps hosted on AGOL, and all projects are featured on AGOL has also been strategically used as a collaborative base for GIS projects in Northern Kentucky that take place through ArcGIS Collector, Workforce and Survey123. There are over 90 applications in the AGOL organizational account to date. ArcGIS Enterprise 10.5 running on an on-premises server hosts our own services in addition to the hosted services on AGOL. To date, PDS/LINK-GIS manages 152 publicly available services and 6 secured services.

Development Team Biography

PDS/LINK-GIS has a long-standing tradition of building talent and developing leaders. As a result, staff is constantly looking to implement new solutions and best management practices that continually push the agency toward excellence. PDS has 43 full-time and 4 part-time employees, with a combined 510 years of service to the public (only years of employment with PDS are included in this total). The Planning & Zoning team has a combined 65 years of civic service, while the GIS team has a combined 126 years of civic service.
PDS/LINK-GIS has many qualified professional staff, including 9 who have earned their AICP (American Institute of Certified Planners), 9 who have earned their GISP (GIS Professional), along with 1 PLS (Professional Land Surveyor).

The PDS/LINK-GIS staff is very in tune with their respective planning and geospatial industries, often serving in leadership positions on the boards of state professional organizations.

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