Image courtesy of Yarra City Council.
Eight years of GIS good practice F
rom identifying locations of bushfires and communities at risk, to locating COVID-19 cases and restrictions, the role of ge ospatial information has never been more prominent. These challenges have and will continue to rely on readily understood map-based information. With more than 60% of Australia’s local government leaders considering or undertaking smart city or regions projects, the level of their geospatial capabilities becomes increasingly important. Not to forget that Geographic Information Systems (GIS) play a vital role in enabling day-to-day customer and community service delivery, asset management and planning for our ever-changing cities. The GIS Good Practice Framework (GPF) assessment helps local governments to understand how their current level of investment in GIS or geospatial technologies and
32 position April/May 2021
skilled resources is meeting industry-wide benchmarks. In 2013, the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) and the Victorian Local Government Spatial Reference Group (LGSRG) implemented the annual GIS Good Practice Framework assessment to assist working towards a common vision: appropriate and effective geospatial capability is established across all councils and is recognised as fundamental to council efficiency and service delivery. The annual GPF benchmark assessments have now been running for eight years. With over 70% participation, the GPF reports have become a vital tool for local government authorities (LGA) in Victoria. The GPF defines good practice for five focus areas from Core Data Maintenance to Community Engagement. Each area is scrutinised with a series of questions that represent good practice. The questions are pragmatic and technology-independent, so
many councils may achieve a positive outcome. Not all councils are equal in terms of access to resources. The assessment recognises these differences by presenting the results for each individual council in comparison to similar types of councils. Councils use the GPF results to support decisions regarding investment in
GRAEME MARTIN people, processes and technologies. Others use the benchmark questions as a KPI framework for ongoing monitoring of development of their GIS functions. Figure 4. represents the state-wide average rating for each of the five focus areas. The most recent survey introduced questions relating to levels of preparedness for
Figure 1. Five focus areas.
Figure 2. A few selected questions from 4. Asset Integration.