Geographic Information System technology has existed in Berks County for over two 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 initially contracted to an external source and the maintenance of this information was undertaken by the Tax Mapping Office. The base tax parcel digital mapping 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 roads and providing updates to GIS information about them is integral in proper response to emergency situations. Today the GIS Office is housed 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.