GIS offers communities a competitive advantage, let us help you build it!
Communities benefit from GIS in many ways. Investing in GIS, in and of itself, brings returns on investment that generally exceed the cost of the investment. Geographic information systems enhance efficiency of operations and help promote community development. The following list presents a few of the more prominent advantages of using a municipal GIS:
the use of maps and mapping applications enhances efficiency of field operations;
GIS provides the ideal mechanism for documenting and tracking infrastructure location, condition, and maintenance/repairs;
GIS helps communities visualize future development for decision making;
GIS helps prevent overbuilding infrastructure with more accurate planning for growth;
GIS assists with accurate documentation of comprehensive plans as well as current land use zoning;
GIS facilitates sustainable development with more comprehensive planning incorporating environmental conditions and concerns and special programs;
GIS enables more consistent, documented regulatory compliance as a basic function of using the system for routine maintenance and inspection activities;
other benefits are numerous with consistently documented benefits that exceed the costs of implementation and ongoing spatial data maintenance.
Return on Investment: Calculating the return on investment can be somewhat complicated and the larger the organization, the larger the return. Two concrete findings are found consistently throughout abundant research on GIS ROI:
Using printed maps alone can bring a minimum return of 1:1; and
The more you use it, the higher the return.
More Benefits: The following table lists some additional benefits of GIS; some examples are more specific and some are more general. In short, benefits include: regulatory compliance; increased transparency; natural resource protection; and enhanced information sharing.
Table copied from "The Business Benefits of GIS: An ROI Approach", ESRI.
Questions to consider when determining if GIS will benefit your community or organization:
What is it worth to be able to measure and document that your community is a Healthy Community based on urban canopy cover?
What would it be worth to document easements and associated measurements then access the information by clicking on a map? This information is not always readily available or easily accessed through paper records.
What would it be worth to access recent maintenance activities or maintenance over time by simply clicking on a map?
How helpful would it be to visualize and measure alternative planting arrangements before you invest in the time and materials needed to do the work?
Benefits of a geodatabase, let us help you sort it out!
Anyone processing spatial information for natural resources must use some form of mapping. GIS has long been an essential tool for planning and conducting watershed enhancement projects. However, it is easy to wind up with a pile of data that would be far more useful with careful preplanning and organization. The following advantages of geodatabases also apply to community geographic information systems:
geodatabases offer enhanced accessibility to essential data;
databases make comprehensive spatial analyses much easier;
geodatabases can contain project details to facilitate accurate and complete reporting;
databases, if constructed efficiently and with a great deal of forethought, offer simplified sorting and query functions for summarizing data;
geodatabases allow users to specify subtypes and default symbology making cartography more consistent and less painful;
topologies and networks contained in geodatabases help preserve accuracy; and
overall, data integrity (completeness, accuracy, reliability) is difficult to achieve outside of a database construct.
The GISCNR advantage: With education and experience in public policy, geographic information systems and science, and sustainable natural resources, GISCNR is the right company to help set you up with an updated system. The following topics are prolific throughout towns and other organizations and can present implementation issues that we can help you with:
avoiding adoption of new technology due to skepticism and lack of understanding - we'll communicate respectfully, clearly, and in detail to help naysayers understand;
convincing administrators that department heads and staff could accomplish more work and do a better job with less time and effort - we'll help describe the benefits of GIS and geodatabases;
outdated legacy systems persist because they are familiar and comfortable even though better systems are available - we'll coach you and your staff to ease the transition;
putting off training because a ten-week course takes too long? Intensive half-day training sessions offered by GISCNR can help with basic skills that will significantly enhance your spatial data system(s) and productivity;
spatial data must be updated frequently - we've got you covered with access to numerous data sources to suit your needs; and
we offer internships to students which helps them apply their knowledge to the real world and keeps costs down for you.
Additional advantages exist, please contact us with any questions or for a consultation.