|Drive to Excellence Enterprise GIS Project Takes a Big Step Forward
By Fred Logman and David Arbeit, Office of Geographic and Demographic Analysis
Sub-Cabinet Endorses Formation of MGIO
At its October 29 meeting, Governor Pawlenty’s Drive to Excellence Sub-Cabinet endorsed a recommendation to establish a Minnesota Geospatial Information Office (MGIO). The recommendation would create the MGIO within the State Department of Administration to coordinate State agency GIS activities and support statewide coordination.
The office would be headed by a Chief Geospatial Information Officer (CGIO) who would be delegated authority by the State Chief Information Officer (CIO) and be advised by two advisory bodies: one representing State agencies and the other the larger statewide GIS community.
This important endorsement marks a milestone within State government as it recognizes the importance of GIS to the State and acknowledges the need to formalize GIS coordination responsibilities. Creating the office is likely to require legislation during the 2009 session of the Legislature.
Enterprise Program Design Study Closer to Complete
Project consultants from Applied Geographics have almost completed their analysis of GIS within State government and have prepared draft recommendations that will guide the implementation of the MGIO. Informed by more than twenty interviews with state agencies and stakeholders, data collected using surveys, and three major workshops since they began work last spring, Applied Geographics has made several recommendations that are helping to shape the Enterprise GIS initiative.
In their first report, Enterprise GIS Opportunity Assessment
, Applied Geographics identified a range of opportunities for improving the coordination and delivery of geospatial services in state government, organized as eight activities related to Coordination, Technical Services and Technical Support. The report recommended the creation of the MGIO to take advantage of these opportunities. Applied Geographics presented a draft of this report to more than 70 State government stakeholders during a workshop held in September and refined it based upon extensive feedback.
§ Priorities: To clarify priorities, Applied Geographics conducted a web-based survey of State agencies in early November to rank the eight program activities identified in Enterprise GIS Opportunity Assessment. Two different methods were used, but the results were similar, with program elements sorted into three priority tiers:
- Leadership, Outreach & Communication
- Data Services
- Technical Guidance
§ Other States: Applied Geographics is completing a comparison of coordination programs in other states. Based upon a sample of nine comparable states, none are addressing all eight program activities recommended for Minnesota, and staffing and funding levels vary greatly. Most states contacted expressed interest in the Minnesota initiative. Results will be included in the report Program Design and Implementation that Applied Geographics will complete during December.
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