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Go with the Flow - Watershed Program Launches New Monitoring Website

November 02, 2016

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So far this year there have been 102 days in which a precipitation event has been recorded in Salt Lake County. Each time it rains, precipitation gauges around the valley activate and begin measuring and reporting rainfall back to the base station at the county government center. This data is decoded and displayed on the Watershed Planning & Restoration team’s  monitoring and gauging program website

The Watershed Program is responsible for maintaining 32 stream and rainfall gauges throughout the county. Their new website replaces an outdated version that helps the team monitor gauging sites and provides a platform for the public to access gauge data.

“There’s no better way to display this data than spatially,” said Bob Thompson, Watershed Program Manager. “With respect to the data, this website provides a more user friendly graphical interface than our previous page.”

Hydro Gauge Map

(Screenshot of data from a flow monitoring site along the Jordan River.)

In addition to flow and precipitation totals, data is also available on parameters relating to the status of each gauge and when it last reported. This information helps field crews identify peak flows, heavy precipitation events, and malfunctioning equipment.

Users can view data in a few different layouts. The  map view shows the location of each gauge and displays real-time data when a site is selected. The  dashboard shows real-time data for all active gauges. Users can also download gauge data in spreadsheet format. 

Salt Lake County Hydro Tech

(Samuel Taylor, Hydrologic Technician, checks the reporting mechanism on a tipping bucket precipitation gauge.)

Ghosts of West Temple - South Temple to 200 South

October 17, 2016

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In 2015, the first "Ghosts of West Temple” online exhibit was released, providing some history of the buildings along West Temple between 100 North to South Temple.  

Ghosts of West Temple II expands on the first exhibit. Continuing south along West Temple between South Temple and 200 South, this new exhibit focuses on providing a view of some of the families and businesses that once existed along this street from approximately 1850-1940s.

This area was initially the site of the houses of some prominent families of Utah, including Wilford Woodruff, Sarah Brackett Carter Foss, and Jesse W. Fox. A number of businesses and several well-known hotels also catered to travelers along this street.  

By the 1880s, liveries, a mortuary, two newspapers, and even an indoor hot springs pool were replacing houses along each side of West Temple, and the area became business-centered.  

At the turn of the 20th century to the 1930s, a large number of hotels, saloons, and stores became a main stay of this area.  

Join us as we continue exploring the history of West Temple! 

ghosts of west temple


ESRI shines national spotlight on the SLCo Cool Zone web application.

June 17, 2016

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ESRI has written a national article highlighting the SLCo Cool Zone web application that helps citizens who may not have air conditioning find places (Cool Zones) they can retreat to in the summer heat.  The interface is easy to use and allows the user to type in an address, use the locate tool, or simply click on the map and find the Cool Zones closest to them. This map is the result of a partnership between SLCo Aging and Adult Services and the Surveyor's Office and showcases how GIS can help the citizens of Salt Lake County. 

"Before this GIS technology existed, the collaborative delivery and coordination of services that have a direct impact on people's lives would have been inefficient, time-consuming or impossible," said Salt Lake County surveyor Reid J. Demman. "The Cool Zone map is interactive and simple to use and allows our at-risk population to locate safe havens from the summer heat. This is a great example of the practical application of GIS technology to a real-life human need."


cool zone web map

GIS On the Web (Who hides behind the GIS web maps?)

June 15, 2016

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Salt Lake County GIS Web Developers

(From left: Emily Lamunyon (Surveyor’s Office); John Kennamer (Surveyor’s Office); Jarom Zenger (Assessor’s Office); Alex Rudowski (Eng & FC); Casey Sledge (Recorder’s Office); Izabela Miller (IS). 

Izabela Miller started her career with Salt Lake County in 2006 as a GIS Specialist.  Over the years she shared her passion with other GIS professionals while building her ESRI-based GIS knowledge.  After she joined SLCo Information Services (IS) Solution Team in 2015 she became a part of a fast-growing “GIS on the Web”.  Today, one of her main responsibilities as a GIS Manager is to find ways to take GIS to the next level.

 Emily LaMunyon started at the Salt Lake County Surveyor’s Office 9 years ago as a GIS Specialist and has worked her way up to a GIS Analyst and web developer for the office. During this time she has been a part of the huge growth and recognition of GIS in the County, including web GIS, which has allowed this technology to reach more people.

 Human interaction with space and place has always fascinated GIS Specialist Alex Rudowski. As a recent addition to the Public Works Department, Rudowski is a big fan of using web-based story maps to showcase the department’s interactions with public space in both urban and natural environments.

Casey Sledge has worked for the Salt Lake County Recorder for 3 years. He’s developed applications that analyze and search property records and is working to expand the use of Web GIS across the county.

Everyone knows the Assessor’s Interactive Parcel Search but not many know who hides behind it. Jarom Zenger has been with the Salt Lake County Assessor’s Office for many years. He started working on the web application a few years back and since then this application has helped countless people find property information, becoming one of the most popular information searches in Salt Lake County.

John Kennamer started with the Surveyor’s Office 8 years ago as a field surveyor.  After he got his Professional Land Surveyor license he moved to the GIS department and works with Mark and Emily on various GIS projects, mainly city boundaries.  Today, one of John responsibilities is GIS web development.

ZAP Free Events Map

May 13, 2016

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The mission of the Salt Lake County Zoo Arts and Parks (ZAP) program is to enhance Salt Lake County resident and visitor experiences through art, cultural, and recreational offerings. They have partnered with Now Playing Utah to highlight free events throughout the area and were interested in having an interactive map that shows these on their webpage. 

Megan Atterman, with ZAP, reached out to the Surveyor’s Office to collaborate on a user and mobile friendly web application to display these events. This map makes it easy to find events; users enter their location in one of three ways; entering an address in the search bar, using the geolocate tool (which pinpoints the users location), or simply clicking on the map. The app then displays event locations closest to them. Also, because events are always changing, this map updates daily so the map is always current.

This Free Events map has been a success, according to Atterman , Grant and Communications Program Coodinator for ZAP, “This map is a win-win-win. Our partners at were so excited when we showed them this map. They said that they played with it for hours! Our constituents have also noted how much they love the map. They like how it’s easy to use and visually appealing – helping them find free events they can enjoy with their families and friends. The best part about it – on our end – is that this map is using data that was already out there! The groups we fund don’t have to do anything extra to get their events to show up on the map. Win-win-win!”


Free Events Map

Using The Flood Control Project Journal

April 12, 2016

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Engineers with SLCo’s Flood Control Engineering Division are working on 18 projects for the 2016 year. The division is responsible for the design, installation, and maintenance of flood control structures and waterways throughout the county. Although the projects differ in scale and scope, they are underpinned by the same purpose - protecting people and improving water quality.

In addition to keeping people safe, the agency strives to keep the public informed through the use of its Flood Control Project Map. The map documents the status of projects under active construction and provides details about completed projects. Currently, the map contains information on 36 ongoing and completed projects.

"There’s a big push to get a lot of projects done this year. We like this map because it helps keep people informed about our progress both publicly and internally," said Alex Rudowski, GIS Specialist with the division. 

Using the map is simple. Users can enter their address to locate projects in their area or they can take a tour by scrolling through the list. As users scroll, the map will automatically zoom to the area where work is being completed.

For more information about a specific project please contact the Flood Control Engineering Division at (385)-468-6300.

Flood Control Engineering

Building Healthy Communities With Arcgis Web Appbuilder

March 17, 2016

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Currently there are over 10,000 refugee families living within the boundaries of Salt Lake County, half of which are youth. Alexx Goeller, Youth Services Coordinator for the Refugee Services Office, Utah Department of Workforce Services believes that “it is crucial that these youth are able to integrate into our society and this resource map can help them find the programs to do so”. 

SLCo Information Services helped Ze Min Xiao, the Refugee Liaison for Office of Community Innovation, and Goeller to create an online application showcasing over 100 different programs available to refugees in the Salt Lake Valley. According to Goeller, the community “wanted an online map so that any resource pertaining to refugee youth, or just youth in general, could be found in one easily accessible location. An online tool seemed like the best way to achieve this”.  To meet the customer’s needs, Information Services decided to utilize Web AppBuilder, one of ESRI’s GIS mapping tools.  With a new technology we were able to develop an interactive map application that is accessible not only on desktop but also on mobile devices.

When asked about community’s future plans, Goeller "hopes that this map can be a resource for other program providers, the mainstream community as well as the refugee community. The idea is that resources can continue being compiled in one place and that needs such as sports program, leadership, homework help, etc. can all be found in one place."

youth refugee map

Salt Lake County Gis On The Hill

March 08, 2016

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Over 90 mapping professionals converged on the Capitol Building Tuesday, March 1st to participate in the fifth incarnation of Maps on the Hill. Sponsored by the Utah Geographic Information Council, the event targeted lawmakers in the midst of the 2016 Legislative session. Event participants were encouraged to present interesting maps and technology applicable to a wide audience that would appeal to decision makers.

Representatives from three Salt Lake County (SLCo) agencies participated in this year’s Maps on the Hill. Casey Sledge, from the Recorder’s Office, presented SLCo Parcel Growth, an online application focusing on population and development trends along the Wasatch Front. Since 1980, the number of parcels in Salt Lake County increased 36.2% from 238,000 to 373,000 in 2015.

Casey Sledge


Mark Miller, from the Surveyor’s Office, presented two ongoing projects. The Foothill and Canyons Overlay Zone uses LiDAR data to identify areas of slope ranging between 25 and 35 percent, and areas greater than 35 percent, (see page 52 of map book for more information). Miller also presented data regarding Utah State Bill 199 – Community Preservation which changed the way areas of unincorporated SLCo are governed. 

Phil Lanouette and Mark Miller
(Phil Lanouette on left and Mark Miller on right)

Alex Rudowski, from Public Works Flood Control Engineering, presented an online application telling the story of the 1983 flood which brought record breaking stream flow throughout the Salt Lake Valley and flooded State Street. (available soon).

Alex Rudowski

"The event has grown a lot since 2012," said Maps on the Hill organizer Jessie Pechmann, "there were a lot more legislators stopping by." For more information on the content featured at Maps on the Hill 2016 check out the map book.