GIS fragmented across local government, advocacy group finds

Just more than half of geospatial data operations are housed within local government information technology offices, a new poll from the Public Technology Institute found.

The way local government handles geospatial information systems is fragmented across the country, the Public Technology Institute found in a March 2017 poll.

In a “quick poll” of local government IT officials, PTI found that GIS operations were housed within the government’s IT department 55 percent of the time. Approximately one-third of local governments reported that their GIS was housed outside of the IT department, while 10 percent reported the systems were maintained across several different departments.

The polls are designed to give a snapshot of a local government technology issue or trend, and the responses are anonymous, PTI said.

The poll also examined who the cheerleaders for GIS were in government. About 36 percent of the time, the government’s chief information officer was the main proponent, while elected leaders only did the advocating 4 percent of the time.


The poll asked:

  • Who is the strongest proponent of GIS in your local government?
  • What/Who do you consider the biggest obstacle or roadblock?
  • Where is GIS located within the enterprise?
  • How do you share any success of GIS with elected leaders?


  • 4 percent of surveyed governments have a standalone GIS agency that coordinates all geospatial data activities
  • Limited time and resources are among the biggest roadblocks to GIS success
  • 21 percent of local governments have a chief GIS officer

This infographic was provided exclusively to StateScoop for publication as a part of a media partnership with the Public Technology Institute. For more information on this poll and other PTI activities, check out


The Public Technology Institute is a media partner of StateScoop. Learn more about PTI and their activities at

This story was featured in StateScoop Special Report: GIS (2017)

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