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.

The Center maintains two major web portals to distribute spatial data and information in the State. The WV GIS Clearinghouse ( catalogs over 300 unique datasets valued at more than $56 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 120 TB. Web usage statistics reveal that over the last four quarters, the WV GIS Technical Center’s site hosted an average of 586 visitors a day for a total of 213,959 visits by 79,711 unique visitors. Its companion site,, hosted 223,606 unique visitors for an average of 1,258 visits per day and a grand total of 459,311 visits.

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 (Table 2). The very successful WV Flood Tool (, for example, provides floodplain managers, insurance agents, developers, real estate agents, local planners and citizens with an effective means by which to make informed decisions about the degree of flood risk for a specific area or property. This past year the WV GIS Technical Center received a NSGIC Geospatial Excellence Award and FEMA Letter of Appreciation for the outstanding support the WV Flood Tool provides for flood risk determinations and disaster assessments. During this fiscal year the Center modernized online web applications for 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 (

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 assessment, 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 a 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.

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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