Yorkshire and Humber Public Services Network

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GIS Centre of Excellence

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With the explosion of mapping now available to everyone online via applications, such as Google Maps, the desire to consume mapping and use data delivered spatially has never been stronger. At the same time the capability held within the public sector includes some of the most advanced and developed skills and expertise in this area. It is essential that this expertise and capacity is maximised and exploited to enable services and customers to benefit from the powerful tools we already hold within our organisations.

To move this forward a GIS Network Group and smaller working group have been established who are developing a plan around a shared GIS capability which will support organisations in terms of expertise, capacity and preventing single points of failure.

The objectives of this project can be articulated through the vision within the GIS Network Group’s Terms of Reference which is:

  • Immediate better use of existing data, opening up and publishing data wherever appropriate
  • Greater understanding of the GIS picture across Y&H to establish where opportunities exist
  • Harmonisation of existing software and data products
  • Long term sharing of GIS as a service

An aim of this project is also to drive down the cost of GIS to organisations and in the longer term generate income using the expertise and capability within our organisations to build a GIS Centre of Excellence.

The top level benefits we expect to see are improved consistency, better use of data, improved expertise, minimised risk and single points of failure, addressed skills gaps, reduction in duplication and secured economies of scale. It will also allow us to look at the future of GIS and exploit new opportunities. We are also delighted to be able to include GIS users from outside of the Public Sector, in particular Yorkshire Water, with whom a great deal of GIS data is shared.

It is anticipated that this project will deliver cost savings achieved via smarter procurement, bringing standardised tasks to a central point and supporting quicker and more open access to data. More importantly, by maximising the potential of GIS across the business sectors and sharing ideas we’ll be able to improve performance and make significant savings across the whole of the local public sector.

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