Survey Provides Insights to Future of GIS Technology for Government – Mobile, Cloud, Awareness

Over last few weeks, GovLoop has been rolling out a series of posts covering one of our latest resources, Identifying the Promise of GIS for Government. In this report, the GovLoop team identified leading case studies, best practices, and ran survey of GIS professionals. The hope of the report was to show how powerful GIS technology can be to help solve some of governments most complex problems.

Story Highlights

  • GovLoop releases new report: Identifying the Promise of GIS for Government
  • Survey from GIS community provides insights to future of GIS
  • GIS has dozens of applications for government – look for tighter integration with cloud and mobile technology, along with broader awareness of the power of GIS technology.
GovLoop has a lot of great resources on GIS technology, some in particular that relate back to the guide can be found below. So, be sure to take a look at the resources and join the conversation:

Part of the survey that we ran asked GIS professionals what the future of GIS looked like in government agencies. I went back into the report and pulled out a few great quotes from GIS professionals:

“I see GIS as a universal integrator, a way to aggregate data with spatial aspects in an easy to understand format, typically an interactive map/app. Leveraging GIS is really leveraging all your existing systems. I see agencies deciding that their needs to be one authoritative source of data and using GIS to clean that source up. Take zoning for instance; right now it’s in a bunch of different tabular repositories across different departments in the City. GIS is the only way to compare those disparate data sources to develop 1 correct zoning designation per parcel. That’s how I see agencies really and truly benefiting from GIS investments in the future.”

“Web apps are another. With all the free resources out there and such an active development community you can produce a GIS-based web app in a very short period of time. Not a lot of other platforms can deliver that. We developed a Storm Surge Look-up App for citizens using ESRI’s ArcGIS Viewer for Flex in a week. It’s a really simple app but it gets the job done.”

“GIS will become an everyday tool for a variety of purposes within the next 5 years and it’s awareness will be widespread.”

“I’m hoping data will be shared more broadly and efficiently; so agencies can focus on their core missions.”

“Federal agencies should start to do more large-scale land management using a combination of data collected from the field, remote sensing, and geospatial data/existing data/metadata. Hopefully agencies will invest in flex viewers that will help break down organizational silos by showing different sources of agency data in one space or as layers that can be turned on and off (perhaps making some programs or processes visible for the first time to key decision makers).”

“Expect that it like everything else on the web will go increasingly mobile and more ubiquitous. What I would like to see is the I in GIS become knowledge more firmly in the hands of the democratic based populous so that they use it as a means of governance rather than for hyped up presentations.”

From the quotes above, two of the big themes are that GIS will become more broadly known and understood, and tight integration with mobility/cloud technology. Wherever GIS heads, it is a fascinating technology to watch evolve, and holds great promise for government to deliver improved services to citizens.

GIS is an incredible technological advancement. It allows people to tell a story in a visually compelling way through maps, brings data to life, and helps inform decision makers. Personally, I am excited to follow case studies and see different ways people continue to use GIS. GIS has extended to space, oceans, forests, and nearly every aspect of our daily lives (check out our interactive infographic on GIS).

What do you think GIS looks like in 5 years?

When Esri was founded in 1969, it realized even then that geographic information system (GIS) technology could make a difference in society. GIS helps people to solve problems at local, regional, national, and global scales. Access maps and apps at ArcGIS.com. Check out the Communications & Citizen Engagement Sub-Community of which they are a council member.

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