Building a Smarter Community: GIS for State and Local Government

By Christopher Thomas, Keith Mann

Discover how GIS and location intelligence support state and local government decisions and civic inclusion in Building a Smarter Community: GIS for State and Local Government.

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Provide open data, balance decisions and initiatives, and create equitable policies.

Smart communities don’t wait for someone to deem them smart; they take action. State and local governments worldwide have taken that first step using geographic information system (GIS) technology. Applying GIS to planning and urban design, public works operations, and racial equity and social justice has helped meet citizens’ needs and improve government operations. And with advancements in smart technology, location intelligence for state and local governments is not just for GIS specialists.

More informed, data-driven decisions lead to improved outcomes that can be shared and replicated in other communities, helping citizens and government collaborate for the common good. Building a Smarter Community: GIS for State and Local Government shows how government leaders in cities, counties, and states have applied GIS for improved planning, operations, and civic inclusion.

In this collection of case studies and guidance to get started, learn how GIS:

  • Helped planners visualize affordable housing patterns in Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Radically changed stormwater management practices in Salinas County, California
  • Improved easy access to city data, initiatives, and services in Coral Gables, Florida
  • Supported minority-owned business during the COVID pandemic in San Rafael, California

Web apps, GIS hubs and dashboards, and other GIS solutions help state and local governments develop a deeper understanding of the communities they serve within a real-world context. Sections on getting started with GIS provide helpful ideas, strategies, tools, and actions and a collection of online resources to jump-start your use of GIS for state and local government.

Discover how GIS and location intelligence support state and local government decisions and citizen participation in Building a Smarter Community.

Christopher Thomas
Christopher Thomas is director of government marketing at Esri. He is a subject matter expert in government, technology, geographic information systems, marketing, and global business development.

Keith Mann
Keith Mann is a product engineer for Esri Press. He works with internal and external authors to shape their expertise and ideas into books that showcase their work and promote the power of spatial thinking using maps and GIS.

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