FAQ: GIS PDF Print E-mail

What is "GIS"?
GIS stands for Geographic Information System. It is a means of displaying and analyzing data that can be referenced geographically. GIS can take data that has been traditionally stored in tables, give it geographic references, which can then be displayed graphically on a map.

How does the Washington County government use the GIS mapping?
The GIS mapping database is relied upon heavily by the County government. Generally speaking, all official "spatial" or map-related data and records of Washington County government, including the mapping of all land parcels of record and the official Zoning Map of Washington County are part of the GIS mapping database. By making this mapping system available to the public, the Washington County government is permitting the public access to the same information County elected and appointed officials and employees use to make important decisions on a day-to-day basis.

How can GIS help me?
By making Washington County's maps and data accessible on-line, GIS helps make the County government more efficient. It allows for convenient access to a large amount of information that before would have required considerably more time to acquire. Through interdepartmental information sharing and communication, productivity is enhanced and everyone benefits. Washington County's GIS site offers the user a wealth of data such as zoning information, parcel information, and addressed structure information. You can even view an aerial photo of the County! A variety of tools such as pan, zoom, search and print allow the user to perform many tasks and help make the site very functional.

What coordinate system do you use?
Coordinate System: US State Plane 1983
Zone: Virginia South 4502
Datum: NAD 1983
Units: US Survey Feet

How do I access Washington County’s netGIS?
netGIS can be easily accessed from the Maps Tab on Washington County's website. Click on the Maps tab and choose Interactive Online Maps from the drop-down menu.

What software do you use?
We use software from Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI). Currently ESRI's ArcMap (v9.3) software is our standard desktop software package. We also use AutoCAD Map 2008.

Where are you located?
The County Department of Information Systems is officed in the Public Safety Building, 20281 Rustic Lane, Abingdon, Virginia.

What are your hours of operation?
8:30 am - 5:00 pm Monday through Friday with the exception of Holidays.

How current is your data?
We strive to keep each layer as up to date as possible. Almost every layer is updated as soon as we receive an update or correction from the appropriate agency. Presently it takes about 30 days from the date a new parcel of land is created through recordation of a plat with the County Clerk of Circuit Court until the new parcel is mapped on the GIS.

What do I do if I find an error?
Washington County's netGIS is a work in progress. We are constantly updating and working to ensure an accurate GIS. We welcome any suggestions that you may have and appreciate your notifying our office with any errors that you may find. Please contact Heather Lawson, GIS Specialist at (276) 525-1363. You can also email any corrections or suggestions to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

What do I do if I have technical difficulties with the netGIS site? Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (276) 525-1360. Please include as much information as possible regarding the nature of your problem.

Return to Top