A New Vision of Mission

Geographic Information System gives a new view


A New Vision of Mission

Surveyor maps laid down the first legal representations in Hidalgo County in the late 1930s. 

L. David Flores, the deputy city manager of Mission, said these basic maps were used as the legal representations for the county and its cities up until the early 1990s. Computer aided designs were already creating early versions of the first digital representations of the old maps. City governments began making use of these digital maps but they were not made available to the public due to cost.

All of that has now changed in Mission. The launching of a new digital mapping system takes various paper maps, recorded documents and databases and compiles them into a single system. Even further, they are accessible to residents and commercial developers.

GIS goes beyond

The Geographic Information System’s digital platform stores and integrates real-world information into a dynamic computer system. A developer can now check on a smart phone or laptop where the city’s infrastructure is located. One can determine the size and direction of water lines, for example, in assessing that value of a property.

Local residents can access the same sort of information. Flores said it will boost access to city government in serving the community.

“This goes beyond informing our citizens,” Flores said. “We want our citizens to use and provide information that will increase the accuracy of our mapping data. If there is something wrong, we want to know about it so we can correct it.”

He said the Geographic Information System is easy to navigate and is available through the city’s website. Flores said the system will allow the public and developers to visualize Mission in a new way in seeing where water and sewer systems are and how those systems connect and integrate. This is the sort of information was long the unique purview of city officials but is now readily available.

“This is all part of the transparency to our citizens in understanding what the City of Mission is doing for them,” Flores said.

Ricardo D. Cavazos is a journalist and business executive who has over 30 years of experience as a reporter, editor and publisher and is currently managing allied health schools in the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo. Working for Freedom Communications, Cavazos served as editor of The Monitor for eight years and was publisher of The Brownsville Herald for 14 years. He also served as publisher of the Valley Morning Star for one year and launched two Spanish-language publications - El Nuevo Heraldo and El Extra. He is an Edinburg native currrently living in Harlingen.