The Maryland Department of Planning’s Geospatial and Data Analysis Unit Communicates Spatially

Resources and Tools

Sometimes a concept or trend just needs to be expressed visually. In response to this, the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) is fluent in the language of spatial analysis and representation. The goal of planning is to nurture and inform, and to play a vital partnership role alongside the diverse and numerous interests, stakeholders, and dynamics that influence our ever-changing society and communities. To maintain the highest-level of quality in our responses to the planning needs of Maryland, Planning employs a talented group of spatial technology professionals who share a mission to provide the department, our various public and private partners, and our citizens with data, analysis, and resources that are accurate and precise. This team of geospatial experts, with an extensive background in geospatial analysis, cartography, data modeling and management, and application development comprises Planning’s Geospatial and Data Analysis Unit (GDA).

Development patterns, resource priorities, demographics; the characteristics of planning are dynamic and ever-changing. As such, Planning and GDA need to be equally dynamic in response. GDA leverages geographic information systems (GIS) to inform and support the efforts of our planners as they collaborate with local governments, citizens, and organizations. From forecasting future development and growth to discerning current patterns and relationships throughout Maryland, Planning and GDA seek, through our application of spatial science, to understand current conditions and learn from past efforts to best prepare and adapt for what lies ahead. Through our use of spatial analysis and predictive modeling, everyone from Planning’s own staff to the elected officials and citizens of Maryland has access to up to date, reliable, and insightful analysis. In addition to informative analysis, GDA maintains a wealth of publicly available geospatial datasets and web-mapping applications. Anyone with access to the internet or GIS software can tailor the results of our work to meet their unique planning needs. The GDA provides the following services to support planning efforts in Maryland:

  • Cartographic Visualizations
  • Web-Mapping Application Development
  • Publicly Accessible Datasets
  • GIS and Other In-depth Analysis

Our GDA team works closely with their Planning colleagues, but also aids our partner state agencies. Examples of this can be seen in GDA’s provision of spatial analysis in support of the Maryland Transit Administration’s efforts to overhaul the Baltimore region’s public transit network, our timely on-demand mapping to support the meetings and announcements of Governor Hogan, such as the Maryland Business Summit in May 2017, and our close partnership with the Departments of the Environment and Natural Resources to help monitor, assess, and protect Maryland’s ecosystems and natural features.

Planning and GDA strive to inform and enhance decision-making capabilities throughout the state and region. Combining our understanding of the importance of spatial science and technology and the use of cartography as a communicative medium, we provide tools of information and collaboration for all Marylanders as part of our mission to inform the decisions of today that will build Maryland’s tomorrow.

To view our products and work, please visit Planning’s Interactive Map page. To discuss how Planning and GDA can assist your efforts, please contact Erin Goodnough at

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