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About Berks County Planning Commission GIS

About Berks County Planning Commission GIS

GISA Geographic Information System (GIS) is a collection of hardware, software and geographic data that is used to manage, display and analyze spatial data. Spatial data is essentially data that can be mapped such as the location of streams, manhole covers or areas of preserved land. Multiple layers of spatial data can be added to the GIS software for the creation of maps and models. The spatial data can also be used to perform geographic queries and analysis that can help entities make better decisions and create better solutions. For example, adding the spatial data layers for the location of steep slopes and roads over top of the existing land use layer may help a municipality determine the best areas for high density and low density growth.

The Berks County Planning Commission (BCPC) uses GIS for a wide variety of projects related to comprehensive plans, storm water, zoning, transportation, ordinance reviews and master plans (just to name a few). This data is maintained on a regular basis allowing the BCPC to make accurate decisions based on current conditions.


Below is a list of links that will guide you to other agencies that have FREE GIS data downloads.

  1. Geology- Includes GIS datasets for Bedrock geologic units as well as symbology styles for Pennsylvania. Created by DCNR.
  2. FEMA Floodplain Data- This link will take you to FEMA's GIS NFHL Database. You will need to select the State and County from the dropdown box on this page. The FEMA floodplain data for Berks County was updated on July 3, 2012.
  3. Other GIS Data for Berks County- PASDA (Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access) is an outreach program designed by Penn State University that serves as a clearinghouse for spatial data in Pennsylvania as well as interactive web maps and aerial imagery. The GIS data downloads include data from various data sources including government agencies and non-profits.
  4. Soils- Provides soil data, maps and links to online soil GIS data.
  5. PennDOT Open Data- Roadways, bridges, railways, and PennDOT projects available in a variety of GIS formats.


Berks County Public Web Maps - Interactive web maps created by various Berks County Departments.

NRCS Web Soil Viewer - Interactive web maps of soils in the United States.

Historic Aerial Viewer - Interactive web map of current and historical aerial imagery.