Annual Reports

Projects and Activities 2017

Executive Summary

The West Virginia GIS Technical Center, located in the Department of Geology and Geography, West Virginia University, provides focus, direction, statewide coordination, and leadership to users of geographic information systems (GIS), digital mapping and remote sensing within the State of West Virginia. The Center was established by Executive Order 4-93 to provide coordination and technical support in the development and operation of geographic information systems (GIS) for the State.

To reduce the duplication of costly data development efforts among organizations, the Center plays a crucial role in not only serving critical spatial data to state users but in updating and integrating local geospatial data within state and national geospatial databases. These framework data layers are utilized by almost all state agencies, communities, and the general public for emergency response, risk assessments, economic development, energy resource exploitation and management, transportation, natural resources, community planning, tax assessments, and health studies to name a few. This past year the Center focused on the development of the geospatial data layers listed in Table 1 to enhance the State’s Spatial Data Infrastructure. The continued development and publishing of GIS layers through the state clearinghouse node hosted by the Center supports the Mineral Lands Mapping Program and other vital programs in the State that depend on current and accurate base mapping layers.

In addition to developing and updating geospatial base layers for the State, the Center also supports multiple state agencies with e-governance applications to meet their regulatory, communication, and information exchange goals. A new WV Property Viewer web application ( was released that displays real estate assessment information for all 55 counties in West Virginia. The popular WV Flood Tool (, a critical system that support the State’s floodplain management program, received a Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award and was recognized at the 2018 Esri User Conference. Additionally, during this fiscal year the Center modernized online web applications for the following state agencies: WV Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’s Statewide Addressing and Mapping System, State Historic Preservation Office’s Cultural Resources Map Viewer, and the Division of Natural Resources’ Hunting and Fishing Tool. The Center also supported federal initiatives for the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory ( and terrestrial biosphere carbon (

The Center maintains two major web portals to distribute spatial data and information in the State. The WV GIS Clearinghouse ( catalogs over 325 unique datasets and 120 web services valued at more than $60 million dollars, while ( provides a public gateway to online mapping resources in the Mountain State. These geospatial services are distributed through virtualized servers located at the Center with a storage capability of 150 TB. Web usage statistics reveal that over the last four quarters, the WV GIS Technical Center’s site hosted an average of 657 visitors a day for a total of 239,835 visits by 96,125 unique visitors. Its companion site,, hosted 292,354 unique visitors for an average of 1,739 visits per day and a grand total of 634,949 visits. The WV Flood Tool accounts for 21% of total visits to while the WV Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Tool accounts for 19%.’s newest product, the WV Property Viewer, launched a few months before this report, already accounts for 5% of total visits. In June, to maintain a high-performance computing system for hosting these services, the Center purchased $100,000 in new servers and storage devices to upgrade its hardware infrastructure.

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Mailing Address
WV GIS Technical Center
WVU Department of Geology & Geography
330 Brooks Hall
P.O. Box 6300
Morgantown, WV 26506

Phone: (304) 293-0557
Fax: (304) 293-6522