For a Government Agency

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a set of tools used to capture, store, process, analyse and display geographic (or spatial) information. Some definitions include trained staff as an integral part of the GIS.

Most government data has a location-based aspect; using GIS to enhance that data makes it more powerful as a decision-making tool. GIS helps to analyse the data more effectively; even by merely using GIS as a visualisation tool, we can understand much better the issues at hand.

Some Benefits of GIS to Government:

  • Better decision making by the State – GIS supports the right decision at the right time; this saves resources and improves effectiveness
  • Improves planning and allocation of scarce resources– housing, transport, water,
  • Identifying trends – crime, healthcare, urbanisation
  • Easy sharing of data between bodies (e.g. see ie)
  • Stewardship of natural resources
  • Assisting speedier reactions during a crisis – flooding, storms
  • Better planning for demographic change – schools, roads, services, transport
  • Bringing visual simplicity to complex data
  • Improving transparency for the public
  • Communicating more clearly – between the State and the public
  • Illustrating where services are over- or under-supplied – e.g. library locations
  • Improving inter- departmental co-ordination