LEWISTON – City staffers are getting acquainted with a new computer system linking city tax data with maps.

Lewiston’s Geographic Information System became available to city staff on March 28, according to GIS Manager Jim Ward.

Users of the city’s internal computer network can click on a point on a computerized map to see who owns a particular parcel, how much it’s worth and learn about its zoning, city council wards and flood plain.

“Everybody working for the city gets it through their Web browser,” Ward said. “We’re just seeing how they integrate it into their regular jobs.”

Ward said the system is still several months away from being open to the public, however. The city might make a computer available to the public in City Hall by this fall, and put the program on the Internet about the same time.

“We have some data issues to get fixed before we make it public,” Ward said. “We need to evaluate how our staff is using it before we make it public.”

The city of Auburn began offering its GIS system as a link on its www.auburnmaine.org Web site in January. Auburn GIS Coordinator Mike O’Brien said more than 1,500 computer users visited the Auburn GIS database 25,000 times in the first month-and-a-half.

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