Association -- a cross-disciplinary organization of professionals who work together in GIS. "How do you help them understand what you're bringing to the table when you have this technology? What you need to do, if you're the technologist, is think of it from their perspective -- what is their problem really -- and then how can you give them a visual to help them see the benefits the technology will bring to them? A lot of people aren't ready [for the technology]. It takes a visual image of the problem solved to help them understand it."

The beauty of GIS technology is that it provides that visual image some will require to understand its effectiveness. According to Clancy, Congress and CRS are quite fortunate to have CCP -- even if they don't know it exists.

"I think [CCP] should be the arm that Congress goes to for spatial analysis and policy questions," she said. "I think they are an amazing resource that ought to be tapped on every single policy question that comes up on the Hill."

Chad Vander Veen  | 

Chad Vander Veen is the former editor of FutureStructure.