Michael Simpson, MS
Department of Environmental Studies
The attraction of a geographic information system (GIS) lies in its ability to represent reality as either a 2 or 3 dimensional map or drawing and to graphically demonstrate variations resulting from plans and policies which may initiate future impacts on society. The usefulness of the technology lies in its ability to manage extensive amounts of geographic and demographic data for the purpose of assisting in the resolution of environmental and human management problems. GIS holds the promise for building constructive cooperation between neighboring towns by providing a realistic assessment of future opportunities. These opportunities may extend to economic development, infrastructure maintenance and improvements, increasing the communities' knowledge of its physical surroundings, and assisting town government with an ever-increasing regulatory and management burden. GIS provides the opportunity for energetic and willing community members to embrace a technology which may empower them to explore town government and provide the impetus for strengthening and enhancing local control, the foundation of government in Vermont.