Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Increasing Federal Markets for GIS

The Federal Government has been a huge GIS consumer for years. That’s no secret. They are one of the few agencies that can afford a full deployment of GIS software. But it’s good to see that they are continuing to rely on and emphasize GIS and spatial technology. The “Google Earth Effect” seems to have permeated the newest transportation re authorization bill and other planning doctrines. This new bill requires that visualization takes place during the planning stages of a project. And the bill specifically mentions using GIS to show what the project would look like after it is built.

From the proposed rule published in the Federal Register:

The FHWA and the FTA recognize that there are myriad ways to use
visualization techniques to better convey plans and programs and there
are wide variations among MPO capabilities and needs, especially
between large, established MPOs and small, new MPOs. States and MPOs
may use everything from static maps to interactive GIS systems, from
artist renderings and physical models to photo manipulation to computer
simulation. Visualization can be used to support plans, individual
projects or Scenario Planning, where various future scenarios are
depicted to allow stakeholders to develop a shared vision for the
future by analyzing various forces (e.g., health, transportation,
economic, environment, land use, etc.) that affect growth.