Geographic Information System technology has existed in Berks County for over three decades. The county first needed digital mapping technology to create and display information about county tax parcels for the use in the Assessment Office. The task of creating a tax parcel base was contracted and the continued maintenance of this information was undertaken by the Mapping Office. The base tax parcel data that the Mapping Office got off the ground in the 1990s is the basis of many other GIS products that the County subsequently created and maintains today.
Since the integration of GIS at the county, the needs have expanded well beyond tax mapping. Another area where GIS plays a role every day is within Emergency Services. Addressing GIS data is integral in proper emergency response. Today the GIS Office is within the Information Systems Department and it plays a role in servicing the geospatial needs of additional departments. Some other departments that have embraced the technology and use it as part of the daily business practices are as follows: Planning Commission, District Attorney, Election Services and Agricultural Land Preservation to name a few.
Other departments continue to realize the importance of GIS and its worth in their daily operations. This technology has become a mainstay in county government and can further aid these departments in better serving the citizens of Berks County.