The most significant piece of research ever undertaken on the use of Geographic Information System technology (GIS) in Australia has been officially released today.

The 2013 GIS in Local Government Benchmark Study, an independent research initiative supported by the Surveying and Spatial Science Institute (SSSI) and mapping specialists Esri Australia, sought to explore the current and future use of GIS technology by Australian councils – the largest collective user of the technology in the country.

The final report includes the research findings; and documents the activities of 150 Australian councils and six international local government groups, including: Adelaide; Bass Coast Shire; Bayswater; Brisbane; Bundaberg; Gosford; Honolulu; London Borough; Marlborough; Melbourne; Singapore; Sunshine Coast; and, Townsville.

The study also features commentary from industry experts, including: Helen Owens (General Manager – Office of Spatial Policy); Gary McGuire (President – Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute); Brett Bundock (Managing Director of Esri Australia); and Cassandra Barker (General Manager – MapData Services).

Key findings of the research include:

  • 68 per cent of respondents believe the value of GIS technology is widely understood amongst their organisation;

  • 99 per cent believe GIS technology can improve communication with the public;

  • 83 per cent believe crowdsourced information is important to emergency response activities;

  • 80 per cent of councils indicated the technology holds a role in policy development; and,

  • Over half the respondents indicated it’s likely their council will deploy GIS capabilities via smartphones over the next two years; with 24 per cent indicating they already have this capability.

The Study also contains the first detailed insight into the life-saving role GIS technology held during this year’s flood crisis in Bundaberg.

To find out more about how local councils are embracing new advancements in geospatial technology, download your free copy of the full report. 

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