[Sdi-latinamericacaribbean] Virgin Islands Geospatial Information Council
klance_remote at yahoo.com
Tue Nov 21 09:23:20 EST 2006
New USVI cross-agency system could provide wealth of geographical information to government and residents
November 16, 2006: After years of research and collaboration between various government agencies, work is under way to launch a local Geospatial Information System (GIS) -- a comprehensive database offering residents access to a wealth of geographical information about the Virgin Islands. In an effort to promote and study the implementation of a GIS, a group of both public- and private-sector individuals have come together to form the V.I. Geospatial Information Council, which met for the first time in November. During the meeting, council members talked excitedly about the "future" of the system and the need to provide "24-hour, real-time information" to homeowners, businesses and government officials. As the project progresses, the council will also be tasked with devising policies, procedures and guidelines for the sharing of such information; creating partnerships with local and federal organizations; and finally, promoting the development of the GIS.
The development of the GIS took root in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, which initially sought to provide a database to link together the various divisions and to catalog data collected during the ongoing property tax revaluation project. However, Lt. Gov. Vargrave Richards said that as the information was collected, "it became evident" there was a need to expand the project and use the data to connect "government departments and agencies across the board." Richards said to date the project -- including research, training and the execution of two public GIS forums -- has cost approximately $500,000. Funding was provided at both the local and federal levels, including contributions from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
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