Mapping a Strategy for GIS

Report #248, October 2019
Mapping a Strategy for GIS

Full Report

Executive Summary

Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2019

For Additional Information Contact:
Ethan Rarick, Executive Director
(916) 445-2125

Little Hoover Commission Urges Better Use of GIS

California should strengthen its use of geographic information systems, or GIS, by creating a GIS Advisory Council and designating a full-time Geographic Information Officer, according to a report today by the Little Hoover Commission, the state’s independent oversight agency.

The report, “Mapping a Strategy for GIS,” also recommends that the state employ GIS technology to evaluate regional disparities in funding and the delivery of state services.

“The state that has given birth to technologies that have changed the world should be at the forefront of GIS use,” said Commission Chairman Pedro Nava. “But too often, our state government hasn’t taken advantage of the astonishing capabilities of GIS.”

The report notes that many state agencies currently use GIS, which connects data about people and programs with location-based information such as street addresses or zip codes, allowing officials to see critical connections and patterns. For example, GIS is used by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to respond to disasters, by Caltrans to monitor highway improvement projects, and by the Employment Development Department to monitor and address insurance fraud.

 

The Commission found, however, that the state’s use of GIS is inconsistent, and lacks centralization and coordination. To gain full advantage of this important technology, the Commission makes three recommendations: that the state designate a state Geographic Information Officer to coordinate projects, promulgate standards, and manage shared resources; that the state create a GIS Advisory Council of governmental leaders and other stakeholders; and that the state use GIS to evaluate regional disparities in funding and the delivery of services.

“Due to the size and diversity of California, stark differences exist among our many regions,” said Commission Vice Chairman Sean Varner. “GIS is a valuable resource that California can utilize as an ideal tool for evaluating those differences, including how the state addresses funding inequities and fairly allocates funds for services across California.”

The Little Hoover Commission is an independent state agency charged with recommending ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of state programs. The Commission’s recommendations are submitted to the Governor and the Legislature for their consideration and action. The GIS report is available at www.lhc.ca.gov.

Fact Sheet

Study Description

Agenda

Overview

For this study, the Commission reviewed state government’s use of geographic information systems, or GIS, technology considered opportunities for California to build a robust statewide GIS strategy.

Government collects and uses an abundance of information about people, places, activities, and events to provide services to Californians. Often, this information includes common geospatial or location-based data that, when combined in geographic information systems, can be viewed and analyzed in ways that reveal relationships, patterns and trends that might not otherwise be apparent. GIS technology is capable of sorting through thousands of data points from many sources, it can be an important tool to inform policy and regulatory decisions for these complex problems.

During its review the Commission found that many state agencies currently use GIS, which connects data about people and programs with location-based information such as street addresses or zip codes, allowing officials to see critical connections and patterns. However, the state’s use of GIS is inconsistent, and lacks centralization and coordination.

The Commission recommends that the state designate a state Geographic Information Officer to coordinate projects, promulgate standards, and manage shared resources; that the state create a GIS Advisory Council of governmental leaders and other stakeholders; and that the state use GIS to evaluate regional disparities in funding and the delivery of services.

Previous Studies

A Customer-Centric Upgrade for California Government
(Report #229, October 2015)

A New Legacy System: Using Technology to Drive Performance
(Report #193, October 2008)

Print 
			Agenda
  • May 23
    2019
    Business Meeting
    9:30 a.m., BMG Conference Room, 925 L Street, Sacramento, CA
    Business Meeting
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Business Meeting
    Thursday, May 23, 2019
    925 L Street
    BMG Conference Room, Lower Level
    Sacramento, CA

    I. Briefing: Using Spatial Technology to Inform Decision-Making


    a.    Scott Gregory, Deputy Director, California Department of Technology

    b.    Matthieu Denuelle, California Account Manager, and Nakul Bhatia, Solution Engineer, Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)
     

    II. Business Meeting Minutes from April 25, 2019

    III. Subcommittee Reports

    IV. Project Selection

    V. Implementation and Impact Activity

    VI. Reports from the California State Auditor’s Office

    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    May 9, 2019

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Tamar Foster, Project Manager
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Thursday, May 23, 2019, the Little Hoover Commission will hold a business meeting beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the BMG Conference Room, located on the lower level of 925 L Street in Sacramento.

    At its business meeting, the Commission will receive briefings from the California Department of Technology and the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) on how the state is using technology to inform decision-making.

    Following this discussion, the Commission will consider items for future study and conduct other business as detailed on the agenda. 

    Members of the public will have an opportunity to make comments about Commission agenda items during the business meeting. If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact the Little Hoover Commission at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, May 16, 2019.

Print 
		Agenda
  • May 23
    2019
    Business Meeting
    9:30 a.m., BMG Conference Room, 925 L Street, Sacramento, CA
    Business Meeting
    Agenda

    AGENDA

    Business Meeting
    Thursday, May 23, 2019
    925 L Street
    BMG Conference Room, Lower Level
    Sacramento, CA

    I. Briefing: Using Spatial Technology to Inform Decision-Making


    a.    Scott Gregory, Deputy Director, California Department of Technology

    b.    Matthieu Denuelle, California Account Manager, and Nakul Bhatia, Solution Engineer, Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI)
     

    II. Business Meeting Minutes from April 25, 2019

    III. Subcommittee Reports

    IV. Project Selection

    V. Implementation and Impact Activity

    VI. Reports from the California State Auditor’s Office

    Public Notice

    PUBLIC NOTICE

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    May 9, 2019

    For Additional Information Contact:
    Tamar Foster, Project Manager
    (916) 445-2125

    Notice of Meeting

    On Thursday, May 23, 2019, the Little Hoover Commission will hold a business meeting beginning at 9:30 a.m. in the BMG Conference Room, located on the lower level of 925 L Street in Sacramento.

    At its business meeting, the Commission will receive briefings from the California Department of Technology and the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) on how the state is using technology to inform decision-making.

    Following this discussion, the Commission will consider items for future study and conduct other business as detailed on the agenda. 

    Members of the public will have an opportunity to make comments about Commission agenda items during the business meeting. If you need reasonable accommodation due to a disability, please contact the Little Hoover Commission at (916) 445-2125 or littlehoover@lhc.ca.gov by Thursday, May 16, 2019.