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Frequently Asked Questions

What is GIS?

GIS stands for Geographic Information Systems. The official definition of GIS is an advanced computer system capable of collecting, storing, viewing, and analyzing geographically referenced or spatial information. 'Geographically Referenced' or 'Spatial' simply means that the information can be viewed on a map and analyzed based on location and proximity. Examples of mapped places can  include an address, a property parcel, a named place such as a park or neighborhood, a census block, a zip code, or a city. By taking information stored in spreadsheets & tabular databases and displaying & analyzing it on a map, a GIS becomes a powerful tool.


What GIS software is Cuyahoga County using?

The Enterprise GIS is built on industry standards with an open architecture to allow choices for our development partners in an effort to make it a regional system. The GIS Department is using Microsoft SQL Server™ for its spatial database (data warehouse) needs. The Enterprise GIS Team uses the latest ArcGIS desktop, web applications and extensions from Esri™.


What is the currency of your data?

Cuyahoga County Enterprise GIS strives to maintain authoritative geospatial data sets on an ongoing basis.  For information on the currency of the data sets we maintain, please contact the GIS Department.


What is the currency of your aerial photography, and when will new photos be acquired?

Our most recent aerial photography was collected in the fall of 2017. Prior aerial photography was collected in 2016, 2015, 2013, 2011, 2008 and 2006. We also have photography from 2002, 1993, and 1949.


How can I obtain your GIS digital data?

We offer a variety of options for acquiring our data. For a full description of options and data available, visit our GIS Data page. Custom data requests can be made by contacting the GIS Department.


What maps are available?

We currently do not have any prepared maps available for distribution. Custom maps can be made for a fee by contacting the GIS Department.