GIS department working on several updates

By Gary Scott on June 3, 2016 at 12:38pm

Progress continues on several projects being undertaken by the Morgan County Geographical Information Systems Department.

Back in September, the department began what was described as a “thorough” review of the county’s 300-plus rural maps, with an update of the hundreds of urban tax maps to follow.

GIS director Shawn Artis says it’s important to make sure the acreages in the county are correct. He says the majority of rural property tax assessments are based on farmland.

“Recently, since we put our stuff on, we have gone through a review process. Our assessor’s office has tax maps they use to go out and do their assessments, and with more people looking at it, we’re going through and making sure the acreages all match up,” Artis says.

“Make sure that any kind of numbers that have been transposed in the past are all cleaned up, and make sure the parcel numbers are all synced up to the correct properties and everything.”

In an interview aired on Friday’s edition of “What’s On Your Mind?”, Artis also talked about a multi-year project he completed at the beginning of this year that allows browsers to compare how Morgan County looked from 1941 to now.

“The State of Illinois actually posted 1941 imagery on a website where you can download it, but it wasn’t geo-referenced. So, we downloaded all of those nearly 200 tiles of photos and we went there and we geo-referenced everything. So, we actually put their location on there,” says Artis.

“Very interesting to see how much things have changed over the last 60 to 70 years. You see the whole west side of Jacksonville has changed. Of course, you see things you don’t even think about. Like, [Route] 267 going south of Woodson changed, the whole west half of Woodson. It’s just interesting to see how things have changed over the years,” he continues.

Again, that website is

You can listen to the full interview with Artis by visiting the “What’s On Your Mind?” section of WLDS/