MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The city of Morgantown was awarded for a special achievement.  

The city was given the Esri’s Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award on July 20. The award was for the city’s innovative use of mapping and analytics technology in balancing the seven city wards.  

The wards are balanced based on population and the number of registered voters. 

“It was able to provide an objective analysis in terms of counting population, registered voters that provided an objective look at it,” Marvin Davis, Morgantown GIS analyst, said. “It kept politics out of it and subjective looking at the map, for example, and the use of GIS had not been really done outside of just simple counts in the past and this time it was used in terms of providing scenarios, alternatives, in terms of balancing them out and showing different boundaries. And then it was also used by the citizens to provide public comment on the wards that were proposed.” 

The SAG Awards are intended to demonstrate an appreciation for organizations using GIS to understand complex data and meet challenges around the world.

“As always, I am honored to present these awards to all the organizations recognized for the bold examples they set applying geospatial technologies to their important work in the government, business, and nonprofit sectors,” said Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president.

The city was selected from over 300,00 eligible candidates for the award. Esri staff annually nominate hundreds of candidates from around the world for consideration, and Dangermond selects the finalists.