counties, subdivided further into 1,242 townships, 274 cities, and 259 villages. The townships, cities, and villages are collectively called “local units of government” (LUGs), and perform vital administrative as well as land-use planning functions. These range in population from less than 100 to 713,777 (City of Detroit, 2010 Census).
Services provided to their constituents by the local units of government include, but are not limited to:
To deliver their mandated duties and services to the public, local units of government:
LUGs in highly-populated, wealthy urbanized areas employ professional, full-time planning and GIS professionals. LUGs in the less populated rural areas typically do not. Limited resources and in-house capabilities of rural LUGs prevent them from easily producing and distributing maps and other needed geospatial information products. They are also much less able to exploit web-based mapping for information dissemination.
To address this situation, participants from selected LUGs and a non-government organization (NGO), spanning three rural northern Michigan counties, worked together with a graduate student from Pennsylvania State University (PSU)'s MGIS Program to:
Following subsections briefly discuss open-source software in general and open-source geospatial software used in this project, open web mapping, and early attempts at establishing a "sustainable" framework for open-source township GIS.
The Project >