July 1995

Level of Govt: State, local and federal.

Function: GIS.

Problem/situation: Will state and local governments continue purchasing GIS systems?

Solution: Expanded use of GIS by state and local governments is projected.

Jurisdiction: Texas, Harris County, Texas, Fairfield, Hartford and Norwalk, Conn., Ontario, Calif., North Carolina, Phoenix, Ariz., Cincinnati and Hamilton counties, Ohio, Florida, Maryland, Washington, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey.

Vendors: None mentioned.

Contact: Rishi Sood, G2 Research 415/964.2400

Rishi Sood

Analyst, G2 Research

Over the past five years, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has become a fundamental technology utilized by state and local government agencies. GIS has become an invaluable tool vital to the daily operations and functions of these agencies, such as analyzing and managing spatial data as well as efficiently delivering goods and services to the public.

As a result, GIS implementation has spread quickly across government agencies. In fact, state and local government spending on GIS, from software to hardware to services, will reach $400 million in 1995. The accompanying chart illustrates projected state and local government GIS expenditures from 1995-2000. Over the next five years, state and local government spending on GIS is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 16 percent, nearing $840 million in 2000.

Moreover, the dynamics of the GIS market are rapidly changing. Given the improving price and performance ratio for GIS-related hardware and the widespread availability of inexpensive GIS packaged software, state and local government agencies utilize the power of GIS to fulfill new objectives. Some of the emerging trends of GIS within state and local governments include:

+ Increasing Public Access. Citizens are increasingly demanding more information and services; and as a result, agencies are beginning to offer electronic access to public data, with GIS as the primary enabler. Private citizens and commercial firms may utilize the GIS database to locate growing business districts, map community service organizations, model future rainfall, target population groups, etc. Increasing public access to GIS databases in venues such as local libraries improves value to the customer without dramatically increasing workload or cost. Similarly, state agencies can charge private-sector firms for the use of the GIS database.

+ Improving Efficiency of Government Service Delivery. The ability to map multiple inputs such as socioeconomic data, economic indicators and business locations against government services enables state and local government agencies to more accurately target and serve distinct population categories. For instance, human services departments can identify areas with a high incidence of unemployment and proactively service that community with appropriate caseworkers, job training events, or educational programs. By utilizing GIS to first define the requirements, state and local government agencies can improve the success of government services.

+ Reducing the Cost of Government Operations. Faced with relatively stable revenues, state and local governments require cost-effective tools to manage their business. The vast amount of information contained in and the enormous functionality of GIS empowers multiple agencies. Moreover, the collective data provided by user agencies improves data sharing and interagency communication. This benefit of GIS utilization spurred the implementation and cost sharing of GIS across other, non-traditional GIS markets.

Widespread Use of GIS Among State and Local Government Agencies

Historically a back-office operation within environmental management departments, GIS has been primarily utilized for water, land and air quality management purposes. But over the past few years, GIS has quickly gained substantial footing within departments of transportation, public works and public safety. GIS is now an integral component