The following “benefit vignettes” were compiled from interviews and the surveys of federal, state, regional and local governments. Each vignette looks a specific application or implementation and describes the investment and benefits from accrued from the use of GIS. These are sampling of GIS benefits Fairview has documented. Contact us for additional examples and further details

GIS Benefit Categories

GIS benefits have been characterized in many ways. For the vignettes published here the benefits fall into one or more categories.

  • Increased Efficiency – Saving time and resources by doing current tasks in less time or with fewer resources. Parcel mapping with a GIS instead of hand drafting is a typical example of increased efficiency of GIS in local governments. Doing more with less is another example of efficiency.

  • Improved Effectiveness – Doing current tasks in a new way that is more accurate, more complete or improved in some measurable way. Workflow improvement is an example of increased effectiveness.

  • Generate Revenue – Using GIS to create a revenue stream that did exist prior to the GIS implementation such as data sales or a GIS based service that can generate revenue.

  • Cost Savings/Avoidance – Providing reports, services or data that reduces the need for future investments or expenditures. Cost savings can typically be seen in the same fiscal year, as the GIS activity while cost avoidance is typically extrapolated savings into the future.

  • Improved Access/Transparency or Accountability – These are GIS activities that increase the citizen access to information about government data holdings or government activities. In the terminology of the year this has been coined increased transparency or increased government accountability. These are activities that generally increase citizen trust in government by opening processes and decisions.

  • Support Decision Making – Improved support for decision making could be considered as increased efficiency or improved effectiveness but it is typically tracked as a separate benefit for organizing information by location that makes it easier for decision makers to visualize impacts, understand data set or foresee the impact of future actions. Mapping existing data for emergency response is one example of support for decision making but this could also take the form of illustrating funding allocations by geography to support budgeting or any number of data visualization or organization enhancements.

Choctaw Benefits from School Bus Routing
Choctaw Mississippi sees savings in revised school bus routing

Webster County Waste Management Office
Webster County Mississippi sees added income from waste management fees

Dane County Land Record Documents Scanning
Dane County Wisconsin benefits from deed document scanning

Aiken County Train Derailment Response
Aiken County South Carolina responds to Graniteville Train Derailment

California Migratory Lands Management
California uses parcel data to assist in managing migratory bird lands

Parcel Data Benefits Wildland Fire Response
Parcel data helps locate structures in harms way