Aside from a programming/scripting dabbler, I am also the newly appointed Street Commissioner of a small village in Michigan (the lovely and historical Richland, Michigan). I have the problem of being supplied with almost no hard data on the streets from the previous commissioner (and no budget). For instance, I can not get a consistent answer to "how many miles of roads do we have in the village?"
I've always been interested in GIS, but don't know anything about it. My question to the group is what GIS tools would be appropriate for getting the data and building accurate maps and renderings of our village that I can use for basic street planning and maintaining tasks (like knowing how many miles of roads and sidewalks we have).
I've done a little web researching but have been overwhelmed. I was hoping for some helping hints and advice on how to proceed.
Thanks for your time,