What is a Geographical Information System?

Simply put, a GIS combines layers of information about a place to give you a better understanding of that place. What layers of information you combine depends on your purpose-finding the best location for a new store, analyzing environmental damage, viewing similar crimes in a city to detect a pattern, and so on.

To learn more about Geographic Information Systems, please click here.

To view GIS data from the Town of Abingdon click here or visit the Abingdon Municipal Building in person and ask for someone in the Public Works Department. For information outside the Town of Abingdon corporate limits, in Washington County, Virginia, visit www.washcova.com.

A rate schedule has been adopted by the Town Council for selling GIS information in hard copy or digital format. GIS is a powerful tool and the Town maintains a great deal of information using many GIS layers. You can view a list of layers below.

Goal and objectives?

  • To provide Town officials, departments, other agencies, contractors and the public responsive and innovative GIS services such as accurate maps, technical support, and digital data.
  • To continue the acquisition and development of new and useful data and GIS layers.
  • To promote and assist other departments with potential GIS access and usage.
  • To continuously update existing GIS layers as changes occur.

How does the Town of Abingdon use GIS?

The Town of Abingdon is building a GIS based on layers of land mapping and facility inventories that can be displayed together or separately. The following are some examples of how we use GIS in several departments:

  1. Zoning & Tax Maps:
    Used primarily for planning purposes.
  2. Digital orthophoto:
    A digital orthophoto is a picture taken in this case from a low flying airplane and corrected for errors caused by atmospheric conditions, the curvature of the earth, and the curvature of the camera lens. These are a great base for all of our mapping layers, using the orthophotos gives a more “real world” view and allows us to view change and progression throughout the town.
  3. Planimetric mapping:
    The planimetric mapping is a digital representation of the orthophotograph. Abingdon’s planimetric information includes such things as roads, buildings, bodies of water, sidewalks, above ground utilities (power lines), and fences.
  4. Contour Lines:
    Contour lines are lines that connect points having the same elevation. This information is used to determine the slope of the terrain, which is helpful in such tasks as street construction and storm water management and planning of new subdivisions and developments in the town. We currently have 10ft, 2ft and depression Contours covering the whole town and have developed some 5ft contours in areas outside the town limits where the town maintains sanitary sewer.
  5. Sanitary Sewer Mapping:
    The Town of Abingdon Public Works Department is responsible for maintaining the sewer lines in and around town. This high quality mapping allows us to manage Abingdon’s infrastructure in a much more cost-effective manner. We have GIS layers showing manhole locations, sewer line locations, pump stations, flow meters, and clean outs.
  6. Street Department:
    GIS helps the street maintenance department with snow removal, street repaving and trash pickup maps, traffic projects and we are working on developing a more detailed drainage inventory.
    The Town of Abingdon often uses GPS (Global Positioning System) to map infrastructure maintained by the town, such as the sanitary sewer collection system, storm drain features, and new buildings within the corporate limits. To learn more about GPS visit http://www.trimble.com/gps/index.html.

GIS Layers:

  • Corporate Limits
  • Road Centerlines
  • Tax Parcels
  • Addressed, Unaddressed, and Demolished Buildings
  • Edge of Pavement
  • Parking Lots and Misc. Pavement
  • Sidewalks
  • Street Repaving Data
  • Curbing
  • Driveways
  • Zoning
  • Airport Overlay Zone
  • Hydrology
  • Flood Hazard Area and Elevations
  • Railroad
  • Sanitary Sewer Lines and Manholes, 201 Service Area
  • Storm Drainage Inventory
  • Utility Poles
  • EVA Trunk Line
  • Retaining Walls
  • Guardrails
  • Fences
  • Stoplights
  • Snow Removal
  • Trash Pickup Schedule
  • Contours – 2ft, 5ft, 10ft, and depression.
  • Soils Survey
  • Census Data
  • Creeper Trail
  • Historic District


GIS Data:

Contact Us:

133 West Main Street (Lower Level)