Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

A GIS, or Geographic Information System, provides for the collection, maintenance, analysis and management of geographically referenced information. A GIS combines the efficiency of a computerized mapping system with the power of a relational database. You can look at it as an intelligent map. On the screen you see the lines, points and symbols that make up the map. But behind every feature on that map – every street, light pole or hydrant – is a table containing attribute data about that feature – its name, ID number, water pressure etc. Because the map features (roads, sidewalks etc.) have information stored with them, you can query the map in much the same way as you can query a database. This map/database combination allows you to ask the map questions like “Show me every hydrant which hasn’t been inspected in the last six months” or “What is the best route for our snowplows to take?”.

The most important component of a GIS is its data and the most important data set is the basemap. This basemap is the foundation upon which the entire GIS will be built. The Hammond Sanitary District has been compiling and maintaining the basemap for the city since 1995. It was created from very accurate aerial photography and has been updated since then using engineering drawings and additional photography.

We have also compiled a number of GIS layers for many city departments such as Public Works, Engineering, Planning, Parks and others. You can peruse all of our publically available map layers on HammondGIS, the interactive map we maintain for the city at

This map was created in-house using Google map technology, at no additional cost to the District or the city. Besides just viewing the over-50 layers of digital data, you can enter an address and zoom into that point, make linear and area measurements, create a customized link to share with others and print your results. Our interactive map won the 2013 Excellence in GIS award from the Indiana GIS Council.


Becky McKinley, GISP: GIS Manager

219-853-6413, Ext. 516