How State and Municipal Governments Use GIS

Although research shows that state and local governments have been increasingly using geographic information systems, adoption was accelerated in the past several months due to the pandemic. While there still isn’t a universal database or infrastructure in place to open-share GIS data, states are amassing databases to help leaders better understand their constituents and communities.

What Is GIS?

The best and most straightforward way to define it is a system that combines data with geographical features, but that doesn’t nearly begin to cover everything. The foundation of GIS is the geographical (spatial) data, which somehow references locations (mainly on Earth, but depending on the context, it could also be locations like the moon.) This is combined with other attribute data points that offer more information about the location.

GIS can be used for several specific applications that help support a wide range of industries: 

“Geospatial data can be analyzed to determine (1) the location of features and relationships to other features, (2) where the most and/or least of some feature exists, (3) the density of features in a given space, (4) what is happening inside an area of interest (AOI), (5) what is happening nearby some feature or phenomenon, and (6) and how a specific area has changed over time and in what way.”

Vector Vs. Raster – How Are They Different?

Using GIS tools, you can visualize geospatial data in two ways: Vector data and raster data. Vector data applies geometric shapes to show the location and shape of geographic features. Points and lines represent features like cities, roads, and waterways. This method is scalable, offers smaller file sizes, and is a great way to depict boundaries on maps. Raster data uses a scanned digital image or aerial and satellite images and leverages stair-stepping (a cell-based format) to report data as pixels or grids over an image.

How Is GIS Used?

GIS has become the foundation of smart city initiatives and can provide location-specific information hypergranular and contextualized. These systems offer a visual way to convey complex data to those involved in the planning process at all levels of technical knowledge and allow emergency response managers to predict and track elements like extreme weather and natural disasters.

Government officials also use GIS tech for health and human service initiatives, land administration, and tax assessment and create citizen-accessible tools that allow easy viewing and analyzing of mapped-out government geospatial data. IT experts use GIS tools to encrypt and secure highly sensitive, back-end data needed for classified discussions.

What Are Public-Private GIS Partnerships?

As governments across the world look to leverage data tools to grow and bolster infrastructure, more public-private partnerships (PPPs) than ever are being created. With PPPs, government and municipal agencies can work side-by-side with privately-owned organizations to develop solutions and stoke innovation.

PPPs allow the costs of investment to be spread over the asset’s lifetime and, therefore, enable infrastructure projects to be brought forward in years compared to the pay-as-you-go financing typical of many infrastructure projects.

How Can We Help?

We have applied our data-driven cartography approach to mapping for sustainable mobility in cities. A seamless way-finding base map is created as a core information asset for a city and carefully maintained in a master database to retain its value.

A myriad of product types and thousands of products can be created affordably and regularly updated from the same system, providing a large volume of accurate, dependable information to influence behavior and improve a city’s public spaces.

T-Kartor is in the process of initiating a more formal marketing launch where GIMS is sold to other military organizations and corporations under a traditional license model. GIMS solutions are Management Information Systems that apply military-grade security and enable thousands of troops access to advanced geographical and meteorological services in the field to make sure that everyone shares the same version of the data.