The Washington State Information Services Board - Geographic Information Technology Committee (ISB-GIT) recently approved the state's new Geographic Information Systems Strategic Plan and the companion Geographic Information Systems Business Plan (See: http://wagic.wa.gov/2009GISPlanning/Default.htm). These documents lay out a future vision for progressive geographic information system (GIS) technology in Washington State, along with an action plan to achieve that vision.
The Board of Directors, Washington Chapter of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (www.waurisa.org), recently voted to support the full funding and implementation of the recommendations outlined in these plans. WAURISA is a 501(c)(6) professional organization that provides broad support, encouragement and recognition for government, academic, and private development and dissemination of accurate and complete spatial data, relevant software, and geospatial products.
Implementation of the recommendations outlined in the State of Washington's newly endorsed GIS plans will provide efficiencies to state government and benefit GIS users in the federal, state, regional, local, academic, and private sectors, WAURISA believes. The Strategic Plan vision is to "…utilize geospatial technology to facilitate decision-making to benefit Washington State citizens." The companion Business Plan identifies five strategic goals: 1) establish access mechanisms for geospatial data, 2) staff a GIS program office and recruit a Geographic Information Officer (GIO), 3) strengthen coordination across the state GIS community, 4) develop statewide data standards and service guidelines, and 5) increase awareness of the benefits of geospatial technology.
WAURISA President Don Burdick stated:
"The plans were the outcome of four regional listening sessions, an online survey, and various focus groups. The Geographic Information Technology Committee solicited input from a broad cross-section of respondents. These included state, federal, city, county, regional agencies; tribal, academic, and private sector representatives; and other interested parties from across Washington. It is likely that this is the most comprehensive statewide analysis of Washington's GIS-related needs ever undertaken, reviewed, and published."
"These plans support development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI); reorganize and enhance the state's GIS infrastructure, organization, capacity, and capability; and deliver direct benefits to local agencies, the private sector, and the general public."
"There is a growing body of evidence that investment in geospatial technology and dissemination of data and applications by government agencies deliver significant return on investment (ROI). Despite the state's challenging economic environment, we believe adoption of the state's GIS Strategic Plan and implementation of the Business Plan represent a modest, and judicious, investment of taxpayer dollars that will yield substantial benefits to the state's citizens, businesses, and government entities in an increasingly global economy and society."
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