Statewide Geospatial Council Strategic Plan and Business Plan Development
This planning effort involved an open and inclusive process aimed at gaining direct geospatial stakeholder input on the need for and potential roles of a council. Toward this end, in the autumn of 2008 six geospatial stakeholder workshops - attended by over 150 stakeholders - were conducted across the state. Additional information gathering was achieved through an on-line survey and individual discussions and interviews. In addition, a multi-jurisdictional steering committee oversaw the strategic planning effort and helped interpret and organize the stakeholder input into a cohesive plan.
The end result is a plan that reflects extremely strong support for the creation of a council. For example, 70% of survey respondents "agreed" that a new geospatial coordination council should be formed. Further, existing geospatial organizations such as PaMAGIC have supported the idea of a new council. This plan presents a new vision statement for a new council: Complex geospatial technology decisions and investments will be simplified and improved through open communications, collaborative efforts and unified planning.
In addition, based on input gained through the workshops and the survey, the steering committee helped to identify the primary roles that a new council would fulfill. These are:
Advocate for statewide geospatial initiatives and programs
Generate and maintain a statewide geospatial strategic plan
Advise on the prioritization of statewide geospatial initiatives and programs
Advocate for sustainable funding for geospatial activity
Review and comment on legislation with geospatial provisions
Serve as the focal point for statewide geospatial communication and coordination
The plan goes on to identify an implementation path and a one year timeline for establishing a new council. This plan helps to document that the state has done its homework on council formation over the course of several years. It is now time to move forward to create the council.
Melissia Hinton, County Commissioners Association of PA, Director
GIS / Planning
Jay Parrish, State Geologist/Director Topographic and Geologic
Barry Hutchins, County GIS Professionals Association
Eric Jespersen, Acting President, PAMAGIC
Maurie Kelly, PASDA Director
Stacey White, Director, Geospatial Technologies Office
David Terrell, USGS Geospatial Liaison for Pennsylvainia
Mike King, Director, Legislative Office for Research Liaison
Ashis Pal, President, PA-MAPPS