Mayors primed on new street mapping system - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Mayors primed on new street mapping system

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Explaining where you live should get a lot easier. Island mayors got a briefing on a new street mapping system. It replaces an antiquated system with geo-referencing technology that is more accurate and efficient. We've come a long way from the days when directions to a house were described as the first turn after the two coconut trees, just past the bus stop.  The Office of Technology has contracted local non-profit group The Flame Tree Freedom Center to update the street mapping system.

Project manager Chantay Benitez told KUAM News, "Guam street maps were significantly outdated when we began so they were hand drawn and not to scale. And house numbers were not standardized and the process was ineffective and time consuming."

With new technology they can delete old roads, and non consecutive house numbers, update building footprints on maps where structures were demolished or new ones have been built.  But most importantly they will standardize street names, but still enable them to be searched on the map system by their old names. "So, for example, Route 1 we have the federal name for the route, and we have marine drive which is the official name. And in some areas on route 1 we see Chalan Ramon Baza, which is in Yigo. So there's three different names and we call them aliases.

"So that now when you bring up one of the house numbers you see all of that instead of just 'Route 1'. So that's more accurate for emergency and 911 when they need to find such places as those."

Along with emergency and law enforcement agencies, the Mayors will also be trained on the new system. They'll be able to access their respective village maps to update street names, and even use the system to identify potholes. Benitez said, "This will do it automatically for you, and you can just put in all of the information seen above here and not that the potholes are in that area, it will be pinpointed directly on that GIS map and this also connects to DPW users."

Then it'll be up to DPW to find the pothole…and fix it.

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