State Using GIS To Map Railroads

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KELO railroad signal light

The South Dakota Railroad Board learned more Wednesday about a high-tech project.

The state Department of Transportation is using a geographic information system to put South Dakota’s railroads on a computer map loaded full of data.

It will show railroads and lots of information about the thousands of properties along them.

The DOT needed a tool to better manage land and leases.  Jack Dokken, who runs the state railroad office, said the work should be done in December 2019.

“It’s not ready for us to use the map yet, but it’s very close,” Dokken said about the progress.

He showed railroad board members an example — one of the state-owned lines the Dakota and Iowa railroad subleases in southeastern South Dakota.

Dokken highlighted some of the ways the GIS map could be used through different views, distances, boundaries, deeds and leases.

There will be a public version too that landowners or others could check.

“It can give them information as to the surrounding railroads,” Dokken said. “We’re pretty excited for it.”

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