The nature of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and its overwhelming use and reliance on computer technology can run contrary to the data, skills, and training found in many local governments in rural Iowa. GIS technology is complex. Developing GIS takes resources. Money, time, and effort are all necessary components that make up a successful GIS implementation.

Beginning in the Spring of 2007, MIDAS Council of Governments began providing support for member governments in GIS technologies. MIDAS realized that the MIDAS counties are attempting to construct a digitized database of aerial photographs, property lines, and assessment information for their own internal business purposes. When this data base is combined with digitized maps for utility mains, soils, highways, streams/rivers, census information, IDOT crash data, etc. the GIS format provides a very powerful planning and management tool for local governments.