As part of improving how its community operates, the Southern Michigan Village of Union City decided to create a geographic information systems (GIS) map of its electrical management system. The mapping would help emergency management to make faster decisions and effectively reach citizens and businesses should someone report an outage, breakage or other problems.

Fleis & VandenBrink provided the GIS survey work. In phase 1, we located all power poles in the field. In phase 2, we obtained features and attributes data for the poles, such as age, material-make and circuit. Overlaying this data allows the Village of Union City to see its framework live and how it’s all connected and impacted.

Jim Campfield, Union City’s Village Manager, said Fleis & VandenBrink’s work “really improved our ability to manage the electrical system and plan for improvements. All this information is now going to be digitized. It’s endless what we’re going to be able to do with GIS.”

Utilizing GIS for the search and retrieval of documents and drawings for maintenance and updating is making life easier for many municipalities. Our world is increasingly becoming more “spatially-drawn” and GIS has become a critical tool toward that goal, with Union City helping to forge the way.