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* News Release *
 
Monday, March 6, 2006
For Immediate Release

COUNTY ENGINEER HIRES GIS SPECIALIST
Staff News

Butler County Engineer Greg Wilkens announces the hiring of Lydia Thacker to fill the newly created position of GIS Specialist. GIS is an acronym for Geographical Information System and has become an increasingly important tool in the field of engineering. As GIS Specialist, Ms. Thacker will oversee the development and maintenance of a GIS for the Butler County Engineer's Office. The GIS will provide a means for BCEO staff to access, interact with, and maintain the massive amounts of data used to complete their tasks.

Ms. Thacker comes to the BCEO from the City of Fairfield where she worked as GIS Analyst for almost five years. Her background also includes working as a Survey Technician for Hazlet & Erdal and the City of Cincinnati. She is also employed as a part-time instructor at Cincinnati State Technical College.

Ms. Thacker earned her Associates Degree from Cincinnati State in Civil Engineering Technology in 1980 and is currently a Surveyor Intern for the State of Ohio working on earning her Professional Surveyor (P.S.) license. She is also currently enrolled in the Bachelor Degree Program at Northern Kentucky University studying Construction Management.

More About GIS

Geographical Information System (GIS) is a computer system for creating "intelligent maps." What this means is that real life features such as roads, survey monuments, traffic signals, utilities, and storm sewers, or, real life events -- traffic crashes, traffic counts, water testing -- are located and a map of these features is created. The features and events are represented by lines, points, or areas on the map and located where they actually are or have occurred on the earth. The location of these features can be obtained by a surveyor using survey equipment, digitizing from an aerial photograph, or using handheld GPS (Global Positioning System) location devices.

After the location is established any information or data about that feature or event can be connected to it by using a database and creating an "intelligent map." Using an interactive map, the computer operator can click on a feature or event represented by a line, point, or area and a data sheet appears with information about that feature or event.

GIS at the BCEO

As the Engineer's new GIS Specialist, Ms. Thacker will create and maintain a web-based interactive map to be used by BCEO employees, particularly field crews and inspectors. A special user-friendly interactive GIS map may also be developed for the general public. This map would eventually be accessible via the BCEO web site.

# # #

For more information contact:

Chris Petrocy, BCEO Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S., Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 • Fax 513.867.5849


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