Information Exchange: Publications

GIS data make the world go round

Author: Dr. Costis Toregas, President, PTI

Publication type: Acrobat PDF

"GIS (Geographic Information Systems) have played an integral and important role in local government. Back when the term GIS was not even coined, there was a need to  associate places and attributes in a manner that the emerging data processing systems and their application users could comprehend. Major research programs were undertaken- most notably the federal effort to explore Integrated Municipal Information Systems in the early seventies. In what came to be known as USAC (an acronym standing for the federal agencies contributing to the effort financially- the Urban Systems Interagency Coordinating Council), several city and county agencies agreed to put their information on mainframe computers. Using the newly developed technologies of data base administration and multiple data access routines, they attempted to build application systems in Financial Management, Public Safety, Human Services and make information available across these application lines. And the guiding principle which emerged was a trinity of elements: People, Places and Dollars! As long as any transaction had non-null information for these three attributes, integration could proceed. So from this early era, the geography of place established a dominant role in local government operations."

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Date Created: August 2000; Date Posted: February 2007






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