One of the highlights of SSSC 2013 last week was the release of the results of Esri’s 2013 LGA Benchmark Study, in the form of the 2013 GIS in Local Government Benchmark Study: Preliminary Report.
The preliminary report is the culmination of a collaborative effort between Australia’s councils, SSSI and Esri Australia. This Report, which contains the Study findings, was compiled by an independent research agency.
The report provides an outline of how councils across the country are currently using GIS – and also how they plan to use it in years to come. It also highlights new trends and areas of growth for the sector.
But most importantly, it provides the opportunity for councils to share knowledge and insights with each other that will impact future technology strategies; and support collaboration in areas from community engagement to emergency response.
Gary Maguire, President of SSSI, said that the study “…gives us evidence of why geospatial technology will become more and more essential in the future.”
“The GIS in Local Government Benchmark Study provides us with an insight into our past, but more importantly, it shows us where the profession is heading. Look between the lines of this Study and you will see a vibrant future for the geospatial profession.”
Brett Bundock, managing director of Esri Australia, said “Collectively, Australia’s local governments represent the largest user of GIS technology in the country.
“Our decision to partner with SSSI to develop the Benchmark Study was – in part – recognition of the important contribution that Australia’s councils make to the broader spatial community. Local governments have traditionally been early adopters of GIS advancements, and they are also responsible for driving innovation within spatial deployments.
“One of the takeaways from the Study is the ambition that many councils show to break ground in new areas – whether it’s using GIS to verify crowdsourced data during an emergency; or as a means to instigate a two- way conversation with members of the public via smartphones.
“Even more compelling is the finding that 68 per cent of respondents believe the value of GIS technology is becoming widely understood in their organisations.
“Couple this with the statistic showing 85 per cent [of respondents] provide all departments within their organisations with access to GIS capabilities – and it is clear the role of the technology within local government is expanding.”
Some other interesting results from the report show that 24 per cent of respondents are already using mobile spatial technology, with 58 per cent believing that it’s highly likely that they will adopt it over the next 2 years.
Another finding showed that 60 per cent of councils are considering making their data more freely available.
The report has now been distributed to all participants of the benchmark study. An expanded version of the report will be made available to non-respondents in the coming weeks. If you’re interested in obtaining a copy, please email communications [at] esriaustralia.com.au.