GIS to be Introduced in California

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The Government of California plans to introduce Geospatial Information Systems for its citizens. The citizens can use the technology for the critical questions such as where are they going to live and where are their kids going to go to school. Business owners will be able to interact with the data that will guide them in determining whether or not to locate their business in California.

The groundwork for these useful applications are being laid out in the past few months. The state’s Chief Information Officer Teri Takai announced that the GIS task force which is charged with coming up with a strategic plan for the statewide coordination of geospatial data in about ninety days.

Speaking on the initiative, Eric Swanson, Director of Michigan’s Center for Geographic Information, observed.”GIS will provide California’s agencies the ability to engage [the] public like it never has in the past,”

CalTrans, for one, has “found a way to use it as an extremely convincing communications tool,” Bart Ney, CalTrans public information officer said in an interview at the forum.

CalTrans has a tool that lets the public see the status of a transportation project and how it will affect their community, Randy Iwasaki, chief deputy director, CalTrans said. “The value of the GIS technology in today’s environment is the abilty to show the viewers exactly what their going to get. So in the case of CalTrans we can visually show how the project is going to affect their community, how the project is going and how the project is going to be viewed from different angles. It helps us get the information to the public so they can make an informed decision.”

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