Inform decisions. Communicate with constituents.

Smart governments use GIS for making decisions and formulating policy. GIS manages a variety of data types and creates map interfaces that make situations easier to understand. It gives policy makers and political candidates insightful intelligences so that they can make evidence-based decisions.

U.S. government leaders and candidates use GIS to shed light on the nation’s most pressing challenges and communicate those challenges to the public. Throughout the democratic process, intuitive web applications are making it easier for candidates, elected officials and their staff to engage constituents. The GIS Senate Working Group is using platform technology to build a bridge that connects members of the legislature to important information and helps them share ideas with one another.

Analysis tools help members of the executive and legislative branches identify and closely examine location-based problems. Whether a smart map is about poverty, crime, or education, it can reveal hot-spots of activity, compare regional variations, and pinpoint clusters. Policymakers also use GIS for highly complex analysis. For instance, they can better understand their own districts or states by mapping where money is being appropriated, measuring how policies are impacting constituents, and assessing how constituents are responding to policy. From calculating appropriations to understanding a myriad of policy concerns, policymakers are using GIS to inform their decision-making and measure the progress of their policies.

"GIS technology and open data quite literally provide a map to making policy smarter and more transparent. Communities benefit when policymakers have easy access to authoritative data and use it to understand trends, plan for natural disasters and better inform the public."

Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon)

Benefits

Investigate Policy Issues

  • Identify resources, assets, incidents, etc. across the nation
  • Understand how features intersect with proposed policy
  • Understand how they intersect with committee members’ states or districts
  • Map appropriations by geography and issue

Understand Constituent Sentiment

  • Map Member visits and town halls over time
  • Map rates of correspondence by issue
  • Analyze policy issues important to district/state
  • Plan future engagements

Communicate with Maps

  • Embed maps or galleries on websites
  • Embed maps in press releases
  • Share through social media

Maps in Action

See More Maps by Congress

Members of Congress are using maps to share information and insights with the public.

Community & Events

View Past Events

Data Transparency 2016

September 28, 2016
Washington, D.C.

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