Geographic Information System

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a powerful geographic database and mapping software that can be used at all levels of both the public and private sectors. It consists of a map (layer), a database of descriptive information (attributes), and a set of software for mapping and performing complex spatial analysis. The components are combined to enable the user to analyze and understand the spatial relationships that exist in a given location, and to communicate the results through maps and reports. GIS can become a common ground for accessing and sharing information.

COGCNV continues to expand its GIS database. In addition to displaying general base map information such as roads, railroads, hydrography, and town boundaries, the GIS database is now capable of providing maps displaying specific information for all of the towns in the Central Naugatuck Valley Region, including detailed maps featuring land use and soil type information, natural resource constraints, open space, sewer and water service areas, and zoning.

A survey was conducted to gauge local support for having COGCNV function as a GIS resource center for the region. If implemented, COGCNV would manage, maintain, and update each participating town’s GIS maps and databases. Based on survey results, there appears to be support for establishing a resource center.

The map layer inventory now includes:

  • Municipal boundaries
  • Highways and roads
  • Local bus and JobLinks routes
  • Railroad tracks
  • Zoning districts
  • Land use
  • Open space
  • Soil suitability for development
  • Utilities
  • Public sewer and water service areas
  • Aquifer areas
  • Contours
  • Drainage basins
  • Floodplains
  • Streams and water bodies
  • Wetlands


COGCNV updated maps for the Long-Range Regional Transportation Plan and the Regional Plan of Conservation and Development. COGCNV’s GIS files were used by the towns of Beacon Falls, Cheshire, and Prospect for their Plans of Conservation and Development. Maps were created for the towns of Bethlehem, Cheshire, Southbury, and Watertown for DEP Open Space Acquisition Applications. COGCNV organized and cosponsored a GIS training course for municipal land use planners.