Regional GIS Program Highlights

Regional GIS Data Collection

Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG) has partnered with North Carolina Next Generation Network (NCNGN)* to establish a regional GIS program that is being made available to our Members.   The program would enable local jurisdictions to share in benefits of a simplified and cost-effective process for procuring aerial imagery and GIS planimetric data.  The program is currently underway for 2020 with a few organizations on board this first year, with a focus now on expanding participation in the program in 2021.

Participating governments/agencies will have the ability to access:

  • Current year orthophotography base data for generating GIS layers within their jurisdictional boundaries
  • The ability to add-on from a list of additional data layers generated from the orthophotography. Examples include:
    • Building footprints
    • Communication features
    • Hydrology
    • Railroads
    • Impervious surfaces
    • Roads
    • Recreation Features
    • Trails
    • Parking
    • Utility Structures
    • Transmission Lines
    • Vegetation
    • Topographic contours
  • Participation in a program that cuts across boundaries within the region

TJCOG is pursuing options for development of a regional GIS data hosting site for the ongoing upkeep and sharing of the collected data.  Participants will also be able to receive the data directly and manage/use it as part of their own GIS programs.  All participants will be able to benefit from the volume pricing and have access to regional data collected through the program.  Stay tuned for more information on this regional data hosting concept in coming months.

TJCOG has already procured a vendor and agreed to a three-year MOU with the vendor establishing pricing and schedule for this project.  Individual governments/agencies/organizations can choose to participate on a year-by-year basis.  In order to participate in 2021, interested parties would need to notify the vendor of their intention to participate by December 2020.  Each participant typically establishes their own contract with the vendor based on the terms and conditions outlined in the TJCOG MOU—this allows everyone to access the same cost savings and avoid having to go through a separate vendor qualification/selection process.  The vendor has established a pricing structure that varies based on the size of the area data is being collected for—the more jurisdictions that participate, the lower the unit costs will be for everyone who participates.  Additionally, because many of the TJCOG counties are scheduled for aerial photography by the state in 2021, this represents a unique opportunity to take advantage of the state orthophotos for development of planimetric data in those communities.

Given the timing for planning fiscal 2021 budgets, we wanted to make sure information about this opportunity was made available to our member local governments.  We are also working with the region’s major universities as part of NCNGN, and coordinating with the NC Department of Information Technology.

*North Carolina Next Generation (NCNGN) is a consortium of Triangle Universities and municipalities.  NCNGN was organized in 2012 to bring high-speed Internet to residences and businesses in the Triangle region. 


Matt Day
Principal Planner