The Rim country outback is being pulled into the space age.
Since July 2002, all structures in rural northern Gila County have been entered into the Global Positioning System. GPS uses nine to 11 satellites to pinpoint locations for digitized maps, which are being used more and more by emergency services, civil and road engineers, developers and others.
The county contracted with Spatial Data Research, Inc., to make the entries. This required driving all the roads in northern Gila County, both marked and unmarked on existing maps, according to Mariano Gonzalez, deputy director of the Gila County Division of Emergency Services, which is overseeing the project.
Using GPS, the firm is able to establish the geographic location of every driveway.
With the structures in GPS, now the county can proceed with identifying roads that need to be named. Once roads are named, street numbering can occur in those outlying subdivisions where residents are still working with lot numbers as location addresses, according to a release from Gila County Division of Emergency Services.
When the roads have been named and properties given street numbers, this information will be added to the Enhanced 911 Database.
This first part of the project will go to the board of supervisors for approval July 8, Gonzalez said.
Work on the southern part of the county has started, but the road names and street numbering will not start until October, Gonzalez said.