KIM GEOMATICS WAS ENGAGED BY THE GEOCONNECTIONS PROGRAM OF Natural Resources Canada to assess the use and benefits of the core components of the Canadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure, and to assess the benefits and value of accessing and sharing geo-information over the Internet. We assessed eight public and private sector projects across Canada and one project in Australia that ranged from wanting to improve operational efficiency, to research and analysis, to access to timely and quality geospatial data such as Earth imagery.
The organizations reviewed included a county government for a large primarily rural municipality, a province in Canada, a state in Australia where disasters caused considerable damage, a national parks agency, as well as a variety of small companies developing products and services for a variety of clients ranging from recreational users to First Nations that have settled land claims in Canada. It is rare that we have the occasion to review geospatial technology implementations at this scale and across so many organizations.
This is a summary of 9 case studies (8 Canadian and 1 Australian) of web-based geospatial solutions projects. It aggregates the benefits and lessons learned from implementing these solutions.
While the geospatial solutions adopted were implemented for a variety of reasons, and differed from organization to organization, a number of common benefits and lessons learned were revealed by our assessment. See Figure 1 for a summary of the specific objectives, solutions adopted and both benefits and lessons learned for each of the case studies.
The benefits of geospatial data are often difficult to quantify because the data touch a variety of users and departments that result in both tangible and intangible benefits. Tangible benefits range from pure dollar savings, to increased productivity, and new product and service development. Intangible benefits include better communication, better access to information and better understanding of issues that result in meeting corporate and public policy objectives.
While geospatial information is now being used daily by smartphone users for directions and location-based services, adopting geospatial technology solutions in an organizational environment is still very much a change management issue. Many of the lessons learned in implementing these solutions are associated with resistance to change and new technology adoption.
The majority of the projects assessed were undertaken by organizations that already had geospatial technologies in place and sought to consolidate their geospatial databases and improve access to the data to a wider audience. The tangible and intangible benefits include:
Budgeting and Shared Costs Across Organizations and Departments
Increased Productivity, Operational and Cost Savings
Accuracy and Access to Data
Improved Communications and Decision Making
Improved Environmental Monitoring, Planning and Management
Dr. Bob Ryersonis President of Kim Geomatics Corporation. He has held positions in remote sensing in government ranging from scientist to Director General. In the private sector he has been Vice-President and President in several companies. He has been elected to serve on the boards of scientific organizations in Canada and the U.S.A., as well as on the boards of a number of companies and a national industry association. Ryerson and his colleague Dr. Stan Aronoff have published a book “Why Where Matters,” which has now sold into 29 countries. The book is available at www.geoeconomy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Public Policy Objectives
The lessons learned by the organizations assessed indicate that enterprise and government adoption of geospatial technologies, and the updating of existing geospatial capabilities, is still complex due to...
The complete article is available in the Fall 2012 LBx Journal Digital Edition.