Uses of Geographical Information Systems in Public Sector
A GIS describes the use of Geographical Information System (GIS) technology in public libraries throughout England. A GIS is an electronic software application which represents geographical data in a geospatial dimension. As a decision support system in public libraries, a GIS has been in its infancy since only seven of the forty libraries surveyed in the UK have such systems in place.
For many years, the UK Government was slow to embrace the growing demand for geospatial technology and was not prepared to make the necessary investment in the technology required. The Government now has been more open in its views and has established a number of projects aimed at integrating geographical information systems in the workplace. These include the Government’s GIS Implementation programme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), and the National Geospatial Technology Strategy programme, funded by the Nominet programme.
What Has Prompted Increased Usage Of GIS?
The use of GIS has been used extensively in the Public Sector in some form for many years. However, it was primarily confined to the public sector until the last few years, when commercial applications started to appear. Today, public use of GIS has increased significantly and it has been used widely to aid decision making in all areas of life from tourism to the development of new business ventures.
A wide variety of organisations including businesses, museums, local councils and the NHS are using GIS in a variety of ways to help achieve their mission and objectives. Here we provide an overview of the most important uses of GIS for public sector organisations.
Public Land and Resources Management (PLMR) are a key component of the GIS strategy being developed by the Scottish government for future use in Scotland. It will provide essential data to enable Landowners, developers and managers to better plan and manage the use and development of land and resources. With the growth of the private rented housing sector, PLMR is an important tool to ensure that planning and development practices and regulations are applied correctly and that maximise the return on investment from private rental properties. As the market becomes saturated with small properties, it has become easier to make decisions with a larger data set without the need for traditional land surveys.
Surveying is used extensively in the Public Sector in many different ways. Surveys are conducted to map roads, flood plains, flood damage, industrial waste sites and groundwater etc. These surveys are carried out by trained surveyors to provide useful information for a range of planning purposes and can be undertaken on-site or through GIS mapping.
Another area where GIS plays an important role is in the National Parks and Monuments programme. Surveys are carried out to identify and monitor potential environmental issues, to assess the suitability of areas for development, and to establish whether a proposed development is compatible with the environment
Additional Uses For GIS
A further use of GIS is mapping, particularly in relation to mapping for construction purposes. This enables designers and surveyors to create accurate blueprints for projects. Most construction jobs require the provision of accurate information about the site in relation to existing conditions and surrounding areas in order to complete building designs and construction schedules.
The use of spatial technology in surveying is also important to the general public. Geodetic surveying maps the positions of all natural features in relation to one another and can be used to show the relationships between landforms and other features within the environment. Geodetic mapping is also very useful when planning new roads and bridges. In addition, geodetic surveys are used for planning urban developments such as the development of railways, sewers and sewer pipes.
Geographical information systems can also be used in the field of medicine to map locations of diseases and disease hotspots. Using GIS, a doctor can create a virtual map of a patient’s location, as well as creating a detailed outline of the disease’s progression. This will allow the doctor to plan treatment accordingly and to develop a suitable treatment plan for the patient.
GIS mapping is not confined to the public sector and is now being used in almost every sphere of human endeavour. It has been used in the education system, in the medical sector, in the construction industry and in wildlife conservation. It is essential for every aspect of our everyday lives.