The Arkansas Geographic Information Office posted the final version of the 2010 State GIS Business Plan on its website today. The plan represents a hallmark moment in the history of organized geographic information systems (GIS) in Arkansas. Interestingly enough, the earliest coordination effort began almost 20 years ago by former Governor Bill Clinton. The plan calls on the state to make further investments in the creation and continual maintenance of the state’s framework GIS data.
The plan was formulated throughout 2009 and included direct input from GIS users in all corners of the state as well as business and political leaders. The State GIS Board endorsed the plan at its March meeting. All puns aside, the plan lays out a road map for the investments the state needs to make in the data. Applied Geographics, Inc. from Boston, MA led the planning process and authored the plan with input from the state. The project was funded by the Federal Geographic Data Committee.
State leaders honed in on the priority layers necessary for the state to have a world class system. They include a continual orthophoto update on a three year rotation, improving administrative boundaries, continual updates of road centerlines and a statewide tax parcel database. The plan estimates an additional $1.5 million each year for orthoimagery, boundaries and road centerlines and $7.5 million in one-time expense spread over five years to create a digital version of the parcel map in every county. Some counties have worked on digital parcel maps but without state support the data may never be finished statewide.