GIS in Jasper County began in Emergency Management / Jasper County 911 for their 911 applications. Many geographic layers were developed, most importantly being the street centerlines and address points. Other layers developed were municipal boundaries, fire hydrants, taxing districts and other layers of geographic information used that are used with the County's 911 system.

In the spring of 2006, the County flew new aerial photography. The rural areas were flown at a 1 foot pixel resolution and the urban areas (Joplin area and Carthage) were flown at a 6 inch pixel resolution. In the fall of 2006, Jasper County contracted with the Schneider Corporation to convert the cadastral layers. The cadastral layers include the parcels, lots, blocks, subdivisions and sections.

The County hired a GIS Coordinator in February 2007 to coordinate the county's GIS efforts. The position and a portion of the program is being funded by a Environmental Protection Agency grant obtained through the Health Department to help with efforts to identify and cleanup in the Superfund site areas.

In February 2008, the Beacon GIS maps and data web site was unveiled. This website will provides a lot of valuable maps and data to the public for free. All of the map layers are available for free and basic parcel information. For a subscription, users can view detailed parcel information from the Assessor's office.

In February 2009, the county acquired updated aerial photography. Not only was it traditional orthophotraphy, straight down view, but it was also oblique photography. Oblique aerial photography is also called 'bird's eye view'. Obtained through Pictometry International, the oblique photography offers a four directional view of the county urban areas and a two directional view in the rural areas.

In October 2014, Chase Fisher was hired and took over as GIS Coordinator for the county.

Continued efforts of the GIS Department are to enhance other department’s productivity through technology. GIS and technology go hand-in-hand. If you can convert a department's archaic paper record keeping methods to an Access database, and if there is a locational component such as an address you can integrate those records, regardless of what they are, into a Geographic Information System.