Lieutenant Governor Gregory R. Francis has announced that his has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Census Bureau that will permit the use of the estate GIS (Geographic Information Systems) layer for the tabulation and presentation of 2010 census data. The office coordinates the territory’s GIS program, with support from the Virgin Islands Geographic Information Council (VIGIC).
The memorandum with the U.S. Census Bureau evolved from local government agencies’ interest in analyzing and serving communities at the level of the territory’s traditional estate boundaries. The tabulation of data at the estate level would enhance reporting of the territory’s population. This would facilitate the government’s – as well as the private sector’s – ability to identify the needs of a specific community and provide targeted services to address those needs.
“Census data collected every 10 years play a part in guiding funding for essential community services and other important programs,” said Lt. Gov. Francis. “We recognize that the needs of every estate community can be different, and this gives us a greater ability to address the specific needs and challenges of a neighborhood.”
The MOU formally adopts the estates in the territory as official geographic areas and will be used to present data from the 2010 Census and future censuses. Various local and federal agencies, including the Department of Planning and Natural Resources, the V.I. Board of Elections and the U.S. Postal Service, provided feedback and input critical to the accomplishment of the memorandum. The University of the Virgin Islands, which is the territory’s designated Census State Data Center, also contributed to the advancement of the project.
For more information on the territory’s GIS program, contact Dr. Theresa Parris, GIS coordinator, at 773-6459, ext. 3131.