Salisbury, US: GIS students of Salisbury University (SU), US, created large, full-colour maps of land use in each of Maryland’s new legislative districts for all 188 state senators and delegates. Senior GIS Analyst Erin Silva of Salisbury and Brett Dobelstein of Eldersburg, Maryland, both in SU’s Master of Science in GIS Management programme, helped students in producing the maps.
Based on recent land use and land cover data from the Maryland Department of Planning, the maps highlighted 13 categories including forests, agriculture, residential and industrial areas. Silva said, “We used GIS software to clip the data by each of the 2012 district boundaries. State Highway Administration annotations were added to properly label all roads, parks, water bodies, etc. A category legend was also included, along with an overview map.”
Dobelstein stated that the project was one of many “unbelievable” opportunities offered to him through SU’s Geography Department and the Eastern Shore Regional GIS Cooperative.
Robby Sheehan, SU’s interim director of government relations said that the legislators were overwhelmed to see their new maps. “They were surprised that SU [and the ESRGC] had the technology to produce such beautiful maps. Chairman Norman Conway was especially excited to see his new map,” added Sheehan.
Dr. Michael Scott, master’s programme director noted, “Many legislators had never actually seen their district in this way. So, as soon as the new districts were finalised and announced, we wanted to update their maps and give them new copies.”