How GIS is Being Used to Honor Local Servicemen and Women

Geographic information systems (GIS) are incredibly adaptable and continue to be used in new ways to present various information visually and easily. There are certainly many tactical applications for GIS. For example, to aid employees in locating services, researching housing opportunities and tracking regional programs. At the same time, GIS can also be applied to strengthen communities, recognize standout individuals, and stimulate important conversations by visually displaying data to tell compelling stories.

One example of how GIS is being employed to support the community is the Armed Forces Banner program in the City of Rancho Cucamonga, California. The City launched the program in 2005 to honor and recognize hometown active duty military personnel. The program places street banners with the name, photo and military service of local heroes. Mayor L. Dennis Michael has stated, “The community and the City Council are dedicated to showing support to our active military during periods of conflict.”

Recently, Rancho Cucamonga partnered with Esri to establish a web application that allows citizens to search for and view a particular service member’s banner on a map. I encourage you to check out the application for yourself here. Based on Esri GIS technology, the online tool enables the community to view the over 400 honorary banners in the city.

The increasing applications of GIS in the public sector are improving communities across the country. As stated by Christopher Thomas, Esri’s Director of Government Markets, “The story-telling mapping templates bring about an interactive forum for community building. The web application allows citizens to explore their community, share their pride with relatives and friends, and maintain a connection with loved ones.”

Placing the Armed Forces Banners online and on a digital web map extends the impact of the program. Now, family members and friends residing outside Rancho Cucamonga can appreciate the banners. Mayor Michael has expressed, “It is a pleasure for us to be able to know that a grandmother on the East Coast can go onto our website and be able to see the service banner in honor of their grandchild. Even more importantly, service personnel themselves who are deployed or stationed elsewhere, can see the hometown pride Rancho Cucamonga has for them as they serve our country.”

As an early adopter of Esri’s GIS technology, Rancho Cucamonga has a number of applications that utilize maps. Under the Rancho Enterprise Geographic Information Systems (REGIS), the city has map products that aid in public safety, engineering, community services, city planning and other local programs. Local governments across the nation are now recognizing the various benefits to GIS to improve services and engage communities.

Check out the GIS resources available on GovLoop:

Esri was founded in 1969, it realized even then that geographic information system (GIS) technology could make a difference in society. GIS helps people to solve problems at local, regional, national, and global scales. Access maps and apps at Be sure to check out all the
 GIS resources produced by Esri and GovLoop.

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