Urban Fold

Houston's Innovative GIS Effort

A comprehensive base-mapping project in Houston has grown from modest beginnings to a huge success.

The use of geographic information systems (GIS) in regional projects has begun to be widely apprecited. Houston's success with a long-running GIS is an example: "Initially comprised of representatives from six public agencies, the [Houston-Galveston Area Council of Governments' Geographic Data Committee (GDC)] committee formulated plans for cooperative development and funding of the base-map project, then pitched the idea to other agencies and surrounding jurisdictions. In the beginning, entrenched bureaucracies and turf protectionism made for rough going; cooperative agreements among different agencies were often difficult and fragile. But as development of the map progressed, more agencies signed on. What began as informal talks among a handful of agencies is today a committee of eight counties, 25 local and state agencies and several private organizations, including Reliant Energy and Geographic Data Technology."

Thanks to APA Dateline

Full Story: Data Sharing Pays

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