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Australia Local Governments to Expand GIS Capability
Source: futuregov.asia
Source Date: Thursday, May 02, 2013
Focus: Citizen Engagement, Internet Governance
Country: Australia
Created: May 02, 2013

Geographic Information System technology is on the rise across Australia’s local government sector with many councils set to further expand their GIS capabilities to keep up with the growing demand, according to a landmark technology study.

Conducted by by Esri Australia and the Surveying Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI), the “2013 GIS in Local Government Benchmark Study” surveyed 150 representatives from the local government to explore how councils use GIS.

Its specific key areas of focus included: GeoDesign and sustainability; web 2.0 technologies; Gov 2.0; and emergency management.

“Local governments have traditionally been early adopters of GIS advancements, and they are also responsible for driving innovation within spatial deployments,” says Brett Bundock, Managing Director, Esri Australia.

“For example, Gold Coast City Council was the first organisation in Australia to achieve a fully-integrated, geo-enabled SAP implementation; and since then numerous groups around the country have followed suit.”

Bundock adds that the Benchmark Study seeks to explore these achievements – and throw a light on ‘where to next’ for Australia’s local governments.

Meanwhile, SSSI President Gary Maguire says the report will provide councils the opportunity to share experiences that will impact future technology strategies and potentially facilitate collaboration in areas such as open data or emergency response.

The study confirmed that use of the technology remained widespread in the sector, with 85 per cent of respondents reporting they provide GIS access to all departments within their organisations.

Specifically, respondents indicated they use GIS technology for multiple business purposes, with the most common areas being asset management, and planning and analysis. This is closely followed by customer service and emergency management.

The study also revealed that 58 per cent of the respondents expect to release several location-based smartphone apps in the next two years, because of its crucial role in information gathering during emergency situations and open data initiatives in the community.
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