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GIS Strategic Direction

 

Steering Committee

The GIS Policy Advisory Committee (GIS-PAC) steers the priorities and direction of Countywide GIS in Palm Beach County. The GIS-PAC consists of core County GIS agencies and Constitutional Offices working together to maintain and evolve the Enterprise GIS system (EGIS). The organization's mission is:

"To continue to build and maintain the Palm Beach County GIS infrastructure while developing innovative and sustainable ways to improve business processes and services countywide."

The following strategic themes and strategies have been established:

Strategic Themes
  • Efficiency - EGIS products to help agencies carry out their mandated
  • Quality - In GIS products and services
  • Responsiveness - Timely and attentive reaction to the needs of customers

Strategies
  • Enterprise Focus - Efforts of EGIS cross multiple Agencies
  • Priority Setting – Project Management Team vetting and compromising via the self-directed team methodology
  • Risk Management - Evaluate technical and financial risk
  • Process Management - Pursuit of initiatives that improve business processes across agencies on an enterprise level

Priorities

Combining feedback from the GIS Project Management Team Retreat, and information from the GIS Best Management Practices evaluation, the organization’s next areas of priority include:

  • EGIS Sustainability
  • Data Management
  • Redistricting Support
  • Publishing Census Data
  • Outreach

Additional areas for improvement have been identified and will be pursued as the above tasks are accomplished and resources become available.  Narratives on the next priority areas are listed below:


EGIS Sustainability

  • Sustainability is an over-arching goal and crosses many operational areas.  At the broadest level, sustainability is to continue to provide GIS as it is currently available, i.e., to maintain our current level of GIS functionality.  In order to achieve this we will need to maintain the stability of the current technical infrastructure and data layers, manage the lifecycle, complete and maintain the enterprise addressing system, self-host Pictometry imagery, institute succession planning, maintain “authority level” representation on the GIS-PAC, upgrade the GIS Position Ladder, document both Countywide and Agency GIS policies and procedures and keep the website up-to-date.

  • EGIS complexity and availability is creating increasing demands for its use and maintenance.  Many business processes are now dependent upon the availability, and in some cases, the “high availability” of EGIS.  Keeping up with requests, integrating agency business processes to take advantage of the system, and scaling the technology to meet the demands, is a continuous planning process and a high priority.

 Data Management

  • A great deal of effort and staff time has gone into the publishing of the EGIS data, the maintenance of the GIS Data Catalog, and the creation and maintenance of the myGeoNav application. To build on our successes, we need to incorporate additional data layers, improve the quality of data published, and improve and maintain the documentation of EGIS products.  Documentation is an essential component of the broader County organization and its many business processes.  Historically we have focused on a data repository, collection of data and applications services.  As pointed out in the GIS Best Management Practices, Palm Beach County has yet to realize the full potential of GIS with regard to analysis.  It states: “Analysis: Bring knowledge and intelligence, not just data, to bear on decision-making and operations by assimilation of disparate data and linking spatial analytics with financial, statistical and other scientific analytical tools”.

  • Further documentation will be completed and used for new GIS employee orientation and as part of the outreach strategy to make information easily accessible via the intranet, and the Internet when appropriate.  A subcommittee will look at making the metadata available in ArcGIS Catalog.  The PMT Marketing Subcommittee will develop maintenance procedures which will be incorporated into a communications plan.

Redistricting

  • A decade ago Countywide GIS played a small role in assisting the County’s consultant in the Commissioner Redistricting efforts.  Due to the current fiscal environment it is anticipated that Countywide GIS will play a larger role in developing various scenarios and districting options which should decrease reliance on, and therefore costs for, outside support.

Publish Census Layers

  • It has become apparent that several agencies will have the need to visualize and analyze the new Census data being released.  Due to the number of agencies that will benefit from the data (Economic Development, County Administration, Planning Zoning and Building, Criminal Justice Commission, Business Development Board, etc.), it has become a priority to include this data in the Enterprise GIS (EGIS) environment.

Outreach

  • Outreach will allow us to increase employee exposure to the EGIS infrastructure, identify needs and opportunities, share technical assistance and innovation, promote intra-agency data exchange and collaboration, minimize redundancy, and increase accuracy.  A list of Agency Uses of GIS is to be compiled.  Several options will be explored, including the Palm Beach Countywide GIS Forum, email lists, newsletters, and the website.  

Enterprise Mobile Applications

  • Both private and public organizations are making a strategic shift to the mobile enterprise platform so that business can be done from anywhere, at anytime, while utilizing a variety of mobile devices and access methods, such as desktop computers, laptops, handheld devices; over land lines and Wi-fi networks.  This shift is cost effective because it enables ease of use and access to information through multiple access points, and thereby increases the timeliness with which work can be completed.  Organizations can reach constituents and customers by extending the network outside the office walls, enhancing and encouraging feedback from the public. To prepare for expanded use and demand for this technology the County will need to implement the required infrastructure.
 

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