Supporting Pennsylvania’s GIS Strategic Planning

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GeoDecisions is currently supporting the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with its GIS strategic planning process. The Pennsylvania State Geospatial Coordinating Board (GeoBoard) sought an experienced strategic planning and facilitation firm to assist its efforts to derive a plan that guides GIS services and governance over the next three to five years. The GeoBoard’s mission is to provide advice and recommendations to the Governor and the public on geospatial interests, uniform data standards, coordination and efficiency in geospatial policy, and technology across different sectors. The GeoBoard is comprised of representatives from federal, state, and local government, in addition to utility and higher education sectors.

GeoDecisions began our work by developing the GeoBoard’s 2016 Annual Report, which documented the many activities of the GeoBoard over the past year. The report highlights several successes the GeoBoard has already achieved in addition to important GIS value statements.

We then compiled the Current Assessment Report to document past Commonwealth-wide GIS collaboration initiatives, lessons learned from those initiatives, and the current state of spatial data, services, and governance in Pennsylvania. The Current Assessment Report identifies a series of observations and critical challenges to be addressed by the GIS Strategic Plan.

The GIS Strategic Plan effort started with a Visioning Workshop held at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission on January 11, 2017. During the workshop, our team facilitated discussions on forces of change impacting GIS in Pennsylvania and needs and opportunities the group could discern. Breakout groups drew a graphic depiction of the future state vision of GIS and defined initiatives and projects that supported the four overarching strategic goals.