“GIS is the vital link to all our information,” said another Council. “I think it provides the primary access point for the community to give information and for the government to receive it.”
More than half of respondents indicated they were experiencing pressure from their community to comply with the principles of Gov 2.0, by making their Council information easily available online or through social media outlets, like Twitter or Facebook. This challenges Councils to make data available and transparent to communities, but in an appropriate, authoritative way.
“There’s definitely a growing expectation that information should be available to the community,” said a survey respondent.
Esri Australia ran the Benchmark Study to shed some light on not only how local governments currently use GIS, but how they want to use it as they enter the Gov 2.0 phase. Open government initiatives are bringing a new wealth of public data online, enabling the community and government to share a common picture of the intelligence that drives better decisions and outcomes for everyone. Providing access to data is an essential first step, but sharing it in an informative way is the key to fostering a new level of collaboration. GIS technology unlocks the potential of data by bringing it into an enlightening spatial context. This platform for place-based decision making enables transparency, accountability, and community engagement and stimulates entrepreneurship through the creation of new mapping applications.
The Benchmark Study highlighted that many Councils see Enterprise GIS as the solution to extending the benefits of location intelligence to their communities, with more than 77% of Councils surveyed already providing GIS access across their Enterprise.
For many Councils, the smartest way to achieve Enterprise GIS is through an Enterprise Licence Agreement (ELA). For those unfamiliar with what an ELA covers, it is an agreement that is designed to meet a Council’s enterprise-wide GIS needs through the unlimited provision of core technology for a designated period of time. An ELA gives you access to all the location intelligence resources you need, so you can achieve everything you want and need to. It’s a smart way to give more people access to GIS and to deliver the value of location intelligence across your council and to your community.
“With such a great pool of responses to the study, we have been able to extract some really interesting findings,” says Megan Hughes, the Business Development Manager for Local Government in New South Wales. “Australian local governments very much believe in the Gov 2.0 principle and have indicated GIS will play a crucial role.
“For me, what was most encouraging, was hearing how local governments want to use GIS to interact with their communities. They recognise that GIS can help with online activities, and they are looking into ways to exploit it to its full potential.”
An overview of the results, including key findings and themes, is available for at www.esriaustralia.com.au/
To find out more or to let us know what you think of the Gov 2.0 benchmark study findings, visit the Esri Australia blog at www.esriaustralia.com.au/blog