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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 1999

Ryan Announces "Inside Illinois" Website With A New View Of Illinois

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today unveiled a new state website that uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology in a visually interactive way that enables users to see statistical data overlays on a map of Illinois.

The Governor also proclaimed November 15-19 as Geography Awareness Week and November 19 as GIS Day in Illinois.

"This is just the beginning of a new way for people to look inside Illinois," Ryan said. "For years, agencies, surveys and local governments have been using GIS technology to visually show data making it easier for everyone to understand. I want to to use this relatively old technology in new ways by combining databases," he added.

The information and geospatial mapping will be developed further over the next few months with numerous state agencies and local communities contributing to the database. Vintage maps will give a historical view of the state and quick maps will provide detailed information on Illinois.

"These new maps provide a more comprehensive picture of Illinois infrastructure in areas such as education, manufacturing, transportation, tourism, environment and taxation," said Ryan. New areas will be added to provide more extensive "pictures" in areas such as technology, human services, employment and public safety. Eventually, the website will provide statewide mapping that will allow users to "drill down" to local and regional demographics and maps.

The Illinois Technology Office has coordinated this effort and will continue to work with the Illinois Geographic Information Council and numerous state agencies to provide a comprehensive review of resources.

"Managing information from various agencies in visual layers of information will help Illinois focus on issues, trends and opportunities. We need to use the information we have in smarter ways by correlating statistics and adding the spatial framework," said Governor Ryan's Chief Technology Officer Mary Reynolds. "The website will continue to grow and develop as we find new innovative approaches to utilize GIS technology to help solve complicated problems and enable citizen access to data about Illinois," said Reynolds.

The website can be found on the state homepage at www.state.il.us or directly at www.state.il.us/state/inside/


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