GIS Day 2021
Geographic Information System (GIS) Coordinator David Croll has served the City of Johnston since July 2005. When David began, Johnston’s population was 13,144. Fast forward 16 years and the population is 24,064. That is an 83.1 percent increase from 2005.
David works with all departments within the City and his day-to-day duties are never the same. On a daily basis, he creates and maintains data that goes into maps and infrastructure databases. He often has special requests for maps or information to help make data-driven decisions. These require him to delve deep into the City’s oldest records to determine what previous staff have approved or constructed in the field.
When David was asked to describe his role in a few words, he said, “I am the information business.” He provides City employees with the information they need to do their job. He also provides engineers and customers information about City-owned and operated utilities to develop their properties or improve their properties.
Being known as the information business hub often comes with the ability to solve problems on multiple layers. David uses old maps, records, survey information, aerial imagery and personal anecdotes to piece together information that some may call a puzzle. Essentially, he is trying to understand what issues are occurring and determine a solution for the betterment of the community. He has received information on old napkins to high-tech Lidar and drone imagery, but it is always fun to decipher.
While David is the only GIS person that works for the City, he enjoys every aspect of his job because he has the privilege of working with all departments, including Parks, Fire, Police, Library, Public Works and Administration. He provides information to these departments, allowing the leaders to make decisions that will effectively better our community. David can tell one where all the infrastructure is located within the City and all the fire hydrants. It is important because after the homes and businesses are built, the City needs to know where these are located for maintenance or other related issues.
This position is certainly important to the residents and businesses of Johnston because it helps map our future. Because here in Johnston, we are Thriving. Every Day!