In 1991, the Lands & Survey Department commenced a programme to convert map data from manuscript to digital format as the first step in the computerization of land records. Since that time other information in map, tabular and image format has been added and this system has evolved into a comprehensive Geographical Information System (GIS) for the Cayman Islands. It now embraces more wide-ranging geo-data initiatives, while still retaining land related data at its core. The value of managing information in such a system has provided government departments and the private sector with a faster and more efficient means of discharging their duties. It has also become the fulcrum about which challenging environmental and developmental issues are being addressed in Cayman. The Cayman Islands is a leader in this technology within the Caribbean, with the department receiving the ESRI Special Achievement Award in 1999 and 2004.
The National GIS at Lands & Survey comprises a team of trained GIS professionals with combined expertise in analysis, programming, database administration, cartography and data maintenance. They are available for advice on a range of GIS Solutions.
GIS Development is responsible for developing new and innovative methods for delivering the department's GIS and data services to government and the private sector. The team builds GIS, land information systems and information technology-related solutions, tools, services and applications for both web and desktop environments.
Underpinning the day to day work of the department, GIS Production team maintains the wide array of databases necessary for map production and database query. One of the key roles performed is parcel database maintenance based on daily input from the Registry Section. The database comprises over 30,000 parcels and undergoes constant updates and edits to ensure that the latest land information is always available for map products, registry document services and data-driven applications.
The National GIS offers many products and services, including:
- Creation and maintenance of the National GIS for the Cayman Islands
- Delivery of interactive mapping, data and document services via the web
- Producing standard and customised cartography
- Programming customised GIS & Land Information software
- Consultancy for a variety of clients to leverage GIS for their individual needs
- Listing parcels and owners for planning applications
- Street address location
- Modelling hurricane storm surges in evaluating potential flood zones
- Spatial data creation, manipulation and maintenance for the public and private sectors
- GIS training