August 4, 2008 By News Report
The State of California Resources Agency's CERES (California Environmental Resources Evaluation System) Program has demonstrated vision and leadership, and will receive a special achievement in GIS award on August 6, at the Annual ESRI International User Conference (ESRI UC) in San Diego, Calif.
The Resources Agency works extensively with local government to provide information on sensitive natural areas and natural hazards. The agency's CERES program also provides access to a variety of important data. The CERES program used GIS technology to develop a geospatial warehouse and Web services for the capture, maintenance, and reporting of geospatial information related to California bond projects. Now legislators, stakeholders, agency personnel, and the public can use this straightforward and informative Web site to see how and where bond dollars are being invested. The CERES program also generated Web services for the creation and editing of spatial objects and map displays of project locations as well as validation of street addresses throughout the state. The Resources Agency itself has used GIS for almost 30 years and aims to provide live data as well as develop Web map services in the future.
"At ESRI, we are always deeply impressed by the innovation of our users," says Jack Dangermond, ESRI president. "We want to recognize the efforts of these individuals with our Special Achievement in GIS Award. This recognition is well deserved for how they've applied geospatial technology to address the needs of their industries and communities. They are defining GIS best practices."
GIS combines computer hardware, software, and data to create a tool for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographic information. Virtually any information can be linked to a geographic location, allowing users to see that information as part of a complete picture to be analyzed and applied to a problem or issue. With GIS, people can see firsthand how the world works and changes, view and manage information about locations, analyze spatial relationships, and visualize processes. From underground mine modeling to air traffic control, more than 300,000 organizations worldwide rely on GIS to better analyze their environments and make smarter decisions.
Other organizations being honored at the ESRI UC are Chesapeake Energy, the City of Austin, Forsyth County Schools, Greater New Orleans Inc., the Marine Advanced Technology Center, the Navajo Department of Transportation, the City Planning Department in Bangkok, Thailand, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, the United Nations Joint Logistics Center, Qatar Petroleum, and more.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.