NASCIO issues brief on GIS resources

A recent brief released by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers recommends proper management and coordination of state geographic information system (GIS) technology.

The issue brief, titled 'Where's the Data? Show Me: Maximizing the Investment in State Geospatial Resources,' deals with the growing demand for GIS data in government decision-making. GIS ranked as one of the top 10 technologies by state chief information officers at NASCIO's 2007 annual conference.

'GIS is continuing to grow in its use in business decision-making,' said Utah chief information officer Stephen Fletcher, co-chairman of NASCIO's Enterprise Architecture Committee. 'We need to be sure we are managing this investment as well as incorporating GIS process and knowledge assets within enterprise architecture, information architecture and program management. We are including this issue brief within our series on Enterprise Governance because this resource has become so significant for state government.'

The report noted that location awareness is at an all-time high. With the Internet, high-speed wireless, sophisticated wireless devices, mobile applications and the emergence of Web 2.0 and web-based mapping tools, geospatial resources are now available even to non-technical users.

Additionally, GIS technology is being used in a range of applications, including siting facilities, managing coastal facilities, 911 responses, appraising and managing air quality, mapping sex-offender registries and crime patterns and 3-D street and building modeling.

As a result of the wide usage of the technology, properly managing state geospatial resources is an important part of fully leveraging the technology by today's government decision-makers, the report stated.

'The chief enterprise architect can provide guidance and direction for managing these complexities through the state enterprise architecture discipline. The state CIO is in a unique position to create a collaborative environment and to further develop enterprise geospatial capabilities and offer these capabilities as services that can be reached through enterprise SOA (service oriented architecture). GIS capabilities will only grow in importance and availability as government moves toward more collaborative decision making within and across all lines of business,' said the report.

NASCIO is a network and resource for state chief information officers and an advocate for technology policy at all levels of government. The association represents state CIOs and information technology executives from the states, territories, and the District of Columbia.

About the Author

Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.

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