Northwest Conservation District

Torrington office:
1185 New Litchfield St
Torrington, CT 06790

Phone: 860-626-7222








A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer-based tool designed specifically for the integration, manipulation, analysis, management, visualization and mapping of various geographic features. A geographic feature can be represented as a point (i.e. fire hydrant location), a line (i.e. stream or road centerline) or polygon (i.e. parcel boundary or water body). A GIS stores, manages, analyzes, and displays geographic content and associated characteristics (referred to as attribute data) using a real world coordinate system (i.e. Connecticut Stateplane or Latitude and Longitude). This provides the user with the ability to assess, evaluate, and implement a variety of alternatives within a decision-making process.
The Northwest Conservation District is available to assist you with your data and/or project needs using the latest in GIS technology.  NCD utilizes GIS software developed by Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) on a Microsoft Windows XP platform for all data creation, data management, spatial analysis and map production. Coordinate Geometry (COGO) and Global Positioning System (GPS) technologies are used frequently for GIS data development.
Our GIS Center can provide overall the coordination and planning, data management and development, and technical assistance and training for GIS activity in your organization. NCD has both the equipment and technical expertise to fulfill this role for your community. The GIS Center provides services using data layers from our spatial data library, those provided by federa l, state, municipal, and private data sources as well as custom data sets for your GIS needs.
GIS services are ideally suited for Land Use Commissions, Open Space Commissions, Historic Commissions, Land Trusts, Lake & Watershed Associations, Foresters, Farming Operations, Educational Institutions, Consulting & Engineering Firms, Real Estate Companies, Private Individuals, etc.
Map sizes ranging from 8 1/2" x 11" to 3' x 4' and larger can be designed and printed in black & white or color. Maps can be supplied as hard copies, Adobe PDF’s or in a variety of other outputs. Please call or email us for details on the costs associated in creating a custom map for you.
Natural Resource Planning & Inventories, Open Space Plans, Land Use Planning & Analysis, Suitability Analysis, Soils Mapping & Analysis, Land Development Potential, Parcel Data Management, Zoning Districts, Scenic/Significant Vistas, Special Projects, etc. Please call or email us with your data or project questions and needs.
We utilize much of the data available through UCONN’s Center of Land Use Education & Research (CLEAR) and the State of Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection websites. We can assist you with data creation, data updates and management.
For details on our data distribution policy or prices for prints of existing maps please call or email our office.
Attributed point, line, and polygon data. Click GPS Services for details.





GPS is an acronym for Global Positioning System. A GPS is a portable device which records coordinate information for real world features. For example, one can record the latitude and longitude of a municipal fire hydrant, hiking trail, or wetland. Additionally, the device has the capability to record non-spatial data for each recorded spatial feature. For example, the GPS can record the location of historic structures and offers the option to record its name, street address, and current owner. All non-spatial attributes can be collected simultaneously with the capture of feature coordinates.
NCD owns a Trimble Geo Explorer 2005 Series Geo XM handheld GPS device. This unit is an integrated high-performance 6 channel GPS receiver and antenna capable of 1-3 meter accuracy after differential correction. The unit can track up to eight satellites at once and is capable of recording points (e.g., location of landmarks, trees), lines (e.g., bicycle paths, hiking trails), and areas (e.g., old growth forest stands, agricultural fields). Additionally, we have an antenna for automobile collection applications.
Our GIS Center can assist local officials to record the true location of facilities or natural features that may be required by state or federal programs. Typical work tasks include the establishment of a data dictionary (required for data collection), feature coordinate capture, value added collection, data transfer from the GPS unit to the computer, differential correction, post-processing, export to a GIS format for use with other spatial data, and a hardcopy map showing the collected GPS data.
Please call our office for any questions you may have about our GPS data collection capabilities and costs.  You may also email the GIS Center as well.
A Sample of GPS Applications
Natural and Cultural Resources:
•Forest Stands - location, age, health, type of timber, etc
•Trees - location, age, health, type of timber, etc
•Wildlife Habitats - location, animal counts, vegetation types, etc
•Wells - location, size, condition, etc (public and private)
•Wetlands - location, type, etc
•Water Sampling Locations
•Storm Water Outfalls
•Historic Sites and Museums
•Significant Vistas and Landmarks
•Soil - location, type, type
•Crops - location, health, condition, etc
Urban Facilities:
•Storm Water Catch basins - location, condition, type, etc
•Municipally Owned Trees - location, wood type, condition, etc
•Zoning Boundaries
•Walking/Hiking Paths - location, condition, width, length, etc
•Community Playgrounds and Parks - location, activity type, handicapped facilities, etc
•Boat Ramps and Canoe Portage - location, condition, etc
For more information about GPS and how it works please click here.

   If there is something missing on this page that you would like to see please let us know via email - thank you. (updated 11.15.10


Custom Maps for our 34 Communities (see our District boundaries here):
Existing maps can be plotted out for a small fee.  We can also supply you with an Abobe PDF.
Prices for custom map projects and requests vary.  Please call us @ 860-626-7222 to discuss your mapping needs or send an email and we'll contact you at a time which best suits you.
Below is a partial list of maps we have prepared in the past.  We are available to prepare one or more of these for you or your community.  Custom maps using any combination of data are also available.
Base Features Map
Existing and Potential Trails Map
Parcel Map
Bedrock Geology and Surficial Materials Map
Sewer Service Area Map
Municipal Infrastucture and Facilites Map
Zoning District Map
Water Resources and Wetlands Map
Open Space Inventory Map
Watershed Boundaries Map
USGS Topographic Quad Map
Soil Type Map
Land Use/Land Cover Map
Farmland Soils Map
Aerial Photography Base Map
Scenic Roads and Features Map
Historic Features Map
Culturally Significant Sites Map
NOTE: Not all the data needed to produce a particular map may exist for some areas of Connecticut. 
We utilize a combination of Federal, State, Municipal, Institutional and private data to create our maps. 
Call us for more details @ 860-626-7222 or you may email us too. Thank You. 
United States Geological Survey (USGS) Topographic Maps: 

We have a variety of USGS Topographic maps available for sale at our office.
County-wide maps are $15
7.5 minute quadrangle maps are $10
Please call our office @ 860-626-7222 for more detaills or you may send an email.
United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS):
Online NRCS Soils maps and information are available at the NRCS Soils Website.
Visit the Web Soil Survey (WSS) for online soil information about your location. This site provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. It is operated by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and provides access to the largest natural resource information system in the world. NRCS has soil maps and data available online for more than 95 percent of the nation’s counties and anticipates having 100 percent in the near future. The site is updated and maintained online as an authoritative source of soil survey information.  
Also - Learn more about soils by visiting the Smithsonian Institute website - click here to access their website.


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