Story Contributed By: Jim Sparks
Indiana Geographic Information Officer
Indiana Office of Technology

100 North Senate Ave.
N551 Government Center North
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Office: (317) 234-5889
Cell: (317) 560-9033
gio@iot.in.gov
www.in.gov/gis

During last week’s annual Indiana GIS conference, I shared a few thoughts about changes that I feel are going to have a significant impact on what we do as GIS practitioners and how we do it. Specifically, I mentioned three areas that we need to give special attention: open government data, data visualization / business intelligence software, and community resiliency.

Open Government Data
I read the following in today’s InformationWeek Daily newsletter related to new open data efforts. It is worth a read. Notice the specific references to geospatial data.
White House Issues Open Data Action Plan
Agencies must incorporate feedback from users to prioritize efforts and improve data as part of G7 Open Data Charter pledge.
The Obama administration has issued a new US Open Data Action Plan calling for agencies to solicit feedback from government data users to improve the quality of government data and prioritize its release to the public.

The 20-page document, released May 9, builds on a pledge made by US officials at a June 18, 2013, international Open Data Charter meeting of G7 leaders to publish a roadmap for improving the availability and use of government data for the public.

Data Visualization/Business Intelligence Software
And this was in yesterday’s GIS Café Newsletter: Putting Business Intelligence on the Map

Business Intelligence (BI) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has been fusing over the last couple of years. Why are we seeing this fusion and, perhaps more importantly, why is this something beneficial to analysts? The simple answer is that data displayed using map visualization, when compared to basic charts, is visually more powerful.

Did you know that over 80% of business data has some kind of location component? It’s no wonder why Cognos, MicroStrategy, Business Objects and Information Builders have invested in mapping technology, specifically Esri’s mapping technology, to integrate location analytics seamlessly into their solutions. Even SAS and Tableau have built integration points in their products that can consume and produce geospatial intelligence. So what’s the point? The point is that when 80% of all your data has some kind of location component, it makes sense to visualize the data geospatially.

Community Resiliency
Finally, to round things out, here is a snapshot of recent natural disasters by state to underscore why “community resiliency” will be our new mantra. These FEMA Disaster Declarations were collected by Bill Burgess, Washington Liaison, National States Geographic Information Council. Notice that all of these incidents happened in the last six months.

Florida Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-line Winds, and Flooding (DR-4177)
Incident period: April 28, 2014 to May 6, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on May 6, 2014

Alabama Severe Storms, Tornadoes, Straight-line Winds, and Flooding (DR-4176)
Incident period: April 28, 2014 to May 5, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on May 2, 2014

Mississippi Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding (DR-4175)
Incident period: April 28, 2014 to May 3, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on April 30, 2014

Arkansas Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding (DR-4174)
Incident period: April 27, 2014 to April 27, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on April 29, 2014

Indiana Indiana Severe Winter Storm and Snowstorm (DR-4173)
Incident period: January 5, 2014 to January 9, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on April 22, 2014

Montana Ice Jams and Flooding (DR-4172)
Incident period: March 1, 2014 to March 16, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on April 17, 2014

Tennessee Severe Winter Storm (DR-4171)
Incident period: March 2, 2014 to March 4, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on April 11, 2014

Maryland Snow Storm (DR-4170)
Incident period: February 12, 2014 to February 13, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on April 10, 2014

Oregon Severe Winter Storm (DR-4169)
Incident period: February 6, 2014 to February 10, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on April 4, 2014

Washington Flooding and Mudslides (DR-4168)
Incident period: March 22, 2014 to April 28, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on April 2, 2014

North Carolina Severe Winter Storm (DR-4167)
Incident period: March 6, 2014 to March 7, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on March 31, 2014

Washington Flooding and Mudslides (EM-3370)
Incident period: March 22, 2014 to April 28, 2014
Emergency Declaration declared on March 24, 2014

South Carolina Severe Winter Storm (DR-4166)
Incident period: February 10, 2014 to February 14, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on March 12, 2014

Georgia Severe Winter Storm (DR-4165)
Incident period: February 10, 2014 to February 14, 2014
Major Disaster Declaration declared on March 6, 2014

South Carolina Severe Winter Storm (EM-3369)
Incident period: February 10, 2014 to February 19, 2014
Emergency Declaration declared on February 12, 2014

Georgia Severe Winter Storm (EM-3368)
Incident period: February 10, 2014 to February 14, 2014
Emergency Declaration declared on February 11, 2014

Pennsylvania Severe Winter Storm (EM-3367)
Incident period: February 4, 2014 to February 20, 2014
Emergency Declaration declared on February 6, 2014

Oklahoma Severe Winter Storm (DR-4164)
Incident period: December 5, 2013 to December 6, 2013
Major Disaster Declaration declared on January 30, 2014

Vermont Severe Winter Storms (DR-4163)
Incident period: December 20, 2013 to December 26, 2013
Major Disaster Declaration declared on January 29, 2014