Bartlett & West, a full-service engineering and information management company, undertook the study.
"We wanted to provide a resource for public works professionals, offering insights into how their colleagues in the United States and Canada are using and supporting Geographic Information Systems," said Neil Dobler, vice president and Public Works Division Director for Bartlett & West. "The report examined public works entities' use of GIS, budgets, funding, resources, technical support, and other pertinent information."
E-mail surveys were sent to public works professionals across the U.S. and Canada in late 2009. Surveys were completed by 1,375 respondents. Data from competed surveys were divided into eight geographical regions and ten population segments based on size of municipality or other entity served. Respondents represented cities, counties, or other entities providing public works management with populations from less than 1000 to greater than one million.
Respondents who have implemented GIS programs in their entities report using GIS for a variety of purposes, from creating base maps to infrastructure and utility management, planning, demographic analysis, incident tracking, and other uses. This is true across all but the smallest entities and in every region.
More than 60 percent of larger entities report they have incorporated GIS into daily management of infrastructure, with that percentage tapering off sharply for populations less than 50,000.
Those reporting use of GIS as a public works management tool most commonly cite project and maintenance management as primary uses.
"Cities and counties are using GIS to help manage a lot of essential services," Dobler said, "but there is even more they would like to do in the future."
Of those respondents currently using GIS, 47 percent reported that GIS information was accessible to the public. This is more likely to be true the larger the entity's population.
The complete study, GIS Use for Public Works Management in the United States and Canada is available online at www.bartwest.com.
SOURCE Bartlett & West
|Bartlett & West
Jack Hennies, VP, Director of Marketing of Bartlett & West