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Kentucky’s Geographic Information System Presented to - Council of Geographic Names Authorities October 3, 2007 Kenny Ratliff, Director Division of Geographic Information GIS in Kentucky Commonwealth Office of Technology Office of Enterprise Policy and Project Management

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kentucky s geographic information system

Kentucky’s Geographic Information System

Presented to -

Council of Geographic Names Authorities

October 3, 2007

Kenny Ratliff, Director

Division of Geographic Information

gis in kentucky
GIS in Kentucky
  • Commonwealth Office of Technology
    • Office of Enterprise Policy and Project Management
      • Division of Geographic Information


Facilitate statewide electronic geographic data sharing and its application for streamlined decision-making, greater efficiency, public protection, and economic vitality.

what gis is not
What GIS is not….
  • ….the “Great-All”
  • ….the “End-All”
  • ….the “Save-All”
but it is
But it is….
  • ….a powerful part of the tool set for solving and addressing things related to location.

GIS – A collection of computer hardware, software, and geographic data for capturing, storing, updating, manipulating, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information.

      • Points (antennas, hazmat events, hydrants, etc.)
      • Lines (roads, rivers, pipelines, etc.)
      • Polygons (parcels, lakes, buffers, etc.)
overview of gis
Overview of GIS

Data Without GIS – Kentucky Census Data

overview of gis8
Overview of GIS

Data with GIS – Kentucky Census Data

overview of gis9
Overview of GIS

Two ways to visualize Data

  • Raster
  • Satellite images
  • Aerial photos
  • Topo maps
  • Hillshade
  • Vector
  • Points, Lines & Polygons

Social Service Providers


- Job seekers

- Service providers



Local Communities

Local Government


Business Planning




Recreation Seekers

Business Routing


Emergency Management Providers

Property Valuation Assessors

Entertainment Seekers

Utility Providers

Health Care Providers

why is gis important to ky
Why is GIS important to KY?
  • Police use it to protect us
  • PVA’s use it to determine our property taxes
  • Water, sewer, electric and gas companies use it to provide our utilities
  • Transportation uses it to build our highways
  • Health Industry uses it to protect us
  • Social Services use it to protect our children and senior citizens
  • Farmers use it to produce our food
  • FEMA uses it to protect us from floods
  • Post Office uses it to deliver our mail
  • Homeland Security & emergency managers use it to protect us
  • Fuel companies use it to drill wells to supply us with fuel
  • UPS & Fedex use it to deliver our packages
  • Realty companies use it to help buy/sell our property
  • Companies that want to establish businesses in Kentucky use it to make location decisions
  • Papa Johns uses it to deliver pizzas
  • The list goes on and on…..
ky gis history
Ky GIS History

1980’s . . .GIS implementation began at NREPC (ESRI User Number: 31)

  • In 1982, PRIME 750 elite machine in GIS
  • 12 megabytes of memory, yes MB not GB!
  • 600 megabytes of disk space
  • 4 mb upgrade to 16 mb cost $12,000
  • Technician soldered jumpers on the system board
ky gis history15
Ky GIS History

1980’s . . .Data Input ?

ky gis history16
Ky GIS History

1980’s . . .Output ?

  • Basically, everything was on the server . . .
ky gis history17
Ky GIS History

1990’s . . .

  • Many state agencies and the Area Development Districts begin to embrace GIS technology
  • Northern Kentucky, LFUCG, & LOJIC create high-end implementations (urban areas)
  • NREPC puts a couple dozen datasets out for download on the Internet / KGS does the same
  • Kentucky creates a Geographic Information Advisory Council (GIAC now KyGB) to provide input and oversight regarding GIS implementation
ky gis history18
Ky GIS History

2000 . . .

  • • Image data available for free downloadTopos and orthos on Kymartian
  • • Dozens of vector layers and raster data made available for download
  • • NREPC begins implementation of Kentucky’s first internet mapping site (Custom Map Objects IMS Application)
ky gis history19
Ky GIS History

2002 . . .

  • • KYGEONET comes to life (ESRI’s ArcIMS Metadata Service)
  • • Several publishers load nearly 100 datasets within just a few months
  • • Kentucky’s Geospatial Data Clearinghouse becomes a reality
  • • Metadata is included that increased data value
  • • Nearly 20 IMS exist
ky gis history20
Ky GIS History

2004 …

  • DGI developed a strategic plan and got buy-in from the leadership of COT
  • Moved the KYGEONET to DGI’s office
ky gis history21
Ky GIS History

2005 thru today -

  • • KYGEONET has over 400 published items
  • • The resource is maintained by over a dozen “responsible” publishers
  • • Published 23 layers to The National Map (USGS)
  • • Full integration with federal Geospatial One Stop (GOS II) and the federal Geography Network
  • • 40+ IMS in use daily

The Commonwealth


  • Contains 28 layers of information
  • Is tapped for Kentucky layers to The National Map
Kentucky Event Mapping Analysis Portal


  • Contains 148 layers of information
  • Password protected site
  • Most layers not available to the general public
  • Has several tools available on the dash

The Kentucky

Geography Network


  • Kentucky’s Geospatial Database for Raster data
    • Was collectively built by GIS Staff from several state agencies
    • Resides in mirrored instances at Cold Harbor Computing Center
    • Contains all the aerial images, topographic maps, digital elevationmodels, hillshade, SPOT satellite imagery, trucolor imagery, land cover imagery, slope, and other critical raster GIS base layers
    • Is leveraged by nearly every state agency (that does GIS)
    • Drives all of the IMS applications served by state government
    • Is leveraged on the GIS Desktop by users in state agencies
components of kyraster
Components of KyRaster

Range from satellite imagery to DEMs to topographic maps to aerial photography

  • Kentucky’s Geospatial Database for vector data
    • Is the master repository of vector-based (lines, polygons, and points)
    • Is based on all vector data that is available on the Kentucky Geography Network
    • Mirrors the categories on the “browse” tab of the KYGEONET
    • Contains full metadata records for each vector dataset
    • Leveraged by ArcGIS Users on the WAN
    • Leveraged by many IMS
    • Resides in mirrored instances at Cold Harbor Computing Center

Cabinet for Health and Family Services


Cabinet for Health and Family Services


Cabinet for Health and Family Services


Cabinet for Health and Family Services

law enforcement
Law Enforcement

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

fire response
Fire Response

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

chemical response
Chemical Response

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

kentucky watershed modeling information portal
Kentucky Watershed Modeling Information Portal
  • Improve efficiency and quality for 2-5 selected watershed models.
  • Leverage existing data and current projects
  • Interface with USEPA’s Environmental Information Exchange Network (EIEN)
  • Allow for future inclusion/expansion to KY node of EIEN (TEMPO/COMPASS).
  • Train KY water resource managers and modelers.
  • Architecture consistent with KYGEONET; links to GIS and databases
kentucky landscape census
Kentucky Landscape Census
  • NASA funded project
  • Goal: to develop high resolution land cover/land use maps for selected counties and toolsets to make the data and products available and easy to use to the user community that includes public users and local government officials. The project also aims to institutionalize remote sensing and change detection analysis in Kentucky, leveraging on existing resources (KYGEONET)
    • Bring improved information to local government decision/policy makers
    • Bring this information to decision makers faster and easier than is currently possible
    • Bring this information to community decision makers
  • Delivered via a web-based Geographic Information System (KLC Portal) supporting a distributed network of data sources on a variety of hardware and software platforms
importance of land cover change detection
Importance of Land Cover Change Detection
  • Statewide strategic planning
  • Regional planning
  • Environmental protection
  • Policy development
  • Predicting future needs
    • Infrastructure
    • Water quality protection
    • Transportation
    • Agricultural production
    • Forest production
    • Recreation

Statewide Land Cover (KLCD 2001)

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

  • Create a better flow of information
    • City, county, state, federal
  • Enterprise GIS for state agencies
  • Develop a sustainable, coordinated imagery program
  • Statewide geo-coding street centerline layer

Success achieved when -

  • Day-to-day use of GIS, without the user realizing.
  • Delivery of near real-time GIS tools to the field. To include some ability for dynamic updates and sharing.
closing thoughts
Closing thoughts…

Welcome to Kentucky

  • Christian County – wet county
  • Rooster Run – Nelson County
  • Hell For Certain – Leslie County
  • Kingdom Come – Letcher County
thank you
Thank you.


Contact Information

Kenny Ratliff, Director

Division of Geographic Information

501 Main St. 9th Floor

Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

502-564-1450 (main)

502-564-9849 (direct)