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The 6 Strategies of Using Geographic Information Systems for Open Data

Online mapping and location-based tools are ubiquitous in our daily lives. Local authorities should seize the opportunity offered by these new tools to foster innovation in public services.

The advantages of Geographic Information Systems

Central governments and local communities are a technological breakthrough which will change their relationship with citizens and public service users. The Geographic Information Systems, or GIS, is affected by this revolution that is driven by the movement of Big Data and Open Data.

  • The Open Data revolution is underway – Big Data is at the center of innovation. This digital transformation is born of the widespread and regular use of new technologies generating millions of data. In the context of public policy, it should be thought of in a complementary approach with Open Data.
  • Mapping for all – Online mapping tools are increasingly part of our daily life. For business or personal use, we are consulting daily maps or carrying geolocation devices. The public sector also followed this movement and integrates maps in its communication. GIS services are solicited from all sides to create custom maps.
  • The more transparent public action and better understood citizens – Open Data has great potentials for the enrichment of services to users. The mapping appears in this context as the suitable tool to communicate seamlessly across local action. It also helps governments and citizens obtain location information such as sports infrastructure, transport networks, waste sorting points. Compared to long text, a cartographic representation is often a more effective way to tell the story.
  • Focus on data and value – Today’s SaaS has greatly remove hardware constraints and has allowed us to focus more on the data. Many communities now have directly integrated online mapping tools to enrich the information provided to the residents. Through these initiatives, local democracy becomes stronger, and citizens are informed quickly.
  • Reduce infrastructure costs – In a period of expenditure restraint, cloud solutions can reduce infrastructure costs and maintenance. The application platforms evolve with the needs of users. IT projects become agile, the scalability issues are no longer an obstacle to the deployment of new services.

6 strategies that your community can use to become a smart community

The implementation of a GIS platform with an Open Data strategy creates the infrastructure for information exchange and fosters innovation. The efforts of using GIS for Open Data has become an innovation hub attracting the participation of non-government organizations, start-ups, academic institutions, businesses and citizens.

1. Encourage start-ups

Data provided by the local government can find innovative uses when put in the hands of local start-ups. Business thinkers are usually willing to invest time, energy and resources in creating new solutions and thus, if these solutions satisfy a real need, a small business can flourish and grow within the community, with the creation of new and attractive job opportunities.

2. Partner with academic institutions

Academic institutions in the community may be an untapped source of skills and innovation. Universities have important talented researchers who want to solve real-world problems. By involving students and researchers, local governments can trigger potentially underused resources, stimulate creative solutions, hone the skills of students, and introduce job opportunities in the community once living finished his studies, encouraging mutual growth.

3. Involving citizens

Data platforms and applications open to the public not only provide greater transparency, but also encourage community involvement. When citizens do not have access to information, they tend to be more critical of government decisions. Open Data helps all parties operate from a common base of understanding with territorial connection and, in fact, creates the transparency between governments and citizens.

4. Increase the effectiveness of non-governmental organizations

The non-government organizations (NGOs) play an important role in creating smart communities. When governments fail to influence policy decisions with the availability of resources, for example, filling potholes where there is a gap that the public sector cannot fill. NGOs also benefit from the data collected by the government as to create an open platform supporting the exchange based on the location of the data needs of the community, the non-profit organizations can act more effectively.

5. Support for the business community

The companies that make up the community can benefit from updated information on issues such as zoning regulations, opportunities for contract bidding plans, land use, taxes, and other factors that could affect growth or operations. For example, changes in local infrastructure can greatly affect the business community. Increased access to development plans and maps help inform business planning and open up opportunities for business leaders to contribute significantly in the planning process.

6. Create an interconnected and committed community.

A GIS platform gives companies the latest shareholders authorized information. Most business leaders need to see and understand the opportunities and rules, often in terms of location. Different combinations of commitment help create a stronger community fabric. Local governments can use the GIS platform, open data and applications as vehicles to stimulate dialogue with NGOs, citizens, academic institutions, companies and start-ups.

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