New York State Recognized for Leading Geographic Information Systems Critical for Planning, Emergency Response, and Environmental Protection

Contact Information: 
Alicia Biggs
National States Geographic Information Council Ranks NY Among Leaders Nationwide. Grades Reflect the States Most-Prepared to Adopt Critical and Emerging Technology
Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The state Office of Information Technology (ITS) announced today that New York's geographic information systems (GIS) were ranked at the top in the nation during the National States Geographic Information Council's first-ever assessment of such datasets and programs. Published on a clearinghouse overseen by ITS, these datasets are used for urban planning, disaster mitigation, environmental protection, and census mapping, among a range of other applications. Publicly available GIS dataset resources such as property parcels are known to have a demonstrated positive impact on the economic competitiveness of a state or region.

"Geographic information systems are a critical resource for public practitioners, community groups, and others throughout New York State," Interim Chief Information Officer Jeremy M. Goldberg said. "Given the important function these datasets and programs play, the state Office of Information Technology Services is fully committed to ensuring systems are accurate and continually updated--something that is reflected in this designation by the National States Geographic Information Council. We're encouraged by this assessment, proud to be a national leader, and are excited about the innovative possibilities to use these datasets for public good."

New York was among the states receiving the highest grade in the Council's biennialGeospatial Maturity Assessment, which was released last month. The Council found that New York State's geographic information systems "generally reflect the investment in and the maturity of the state's framework data programs," which have been in existence for nearly two decades.

Find the full report here.

The GIS Program Office at ITS provides access to the New York State GIS Data and Metadata Repository, which includes information on roughly nine million address points and 130,000 miles of roadway. Last year, the program coordinated with 100 local and state government agencies to conduct a review of this information and made more than 700,000 updates. This information, along with statewide aerial photography and elevation data, is publicly available online.

The Council collected data from 41 states and graded them on 10 data points, including levels of coordination and maturity of core GIS datasets such as elevation data and aerial imagery. States were then graded on each category and assigned an overall grade. The assessment determined that other states are developing their geographic information systems with less urgency and may not be fully prepared to adopt critical emerging technologies, such as next-generation 911-emergency and geo-enabled election systems.

The Council promotes the coordinated application of GIS and other location-based information and analytics, with an emphasis on initiatives and public policy that connect across local, state, federal, and private sector partners. The assessment is to encourage coordinated development of geographic information and technologies to ensure such information is integrated at all levels of government.

About ITS

The New York State Office of Information Technology Services (ITS) was created in 2012 to transform IT services in an effort to make New York State government work smarter for its citizens and enable the state to be accessible for businesses through the use of technology. ITS provides statewide IT strategic direction, directs IT policy and delivers centralized IT products and services that support the mission of the State. ITS operates data centers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to support statewide mission-critical applications for over 50 Agencies, over 17 million citizen accounts, 120,000 employee accounts, 60,000 phones, 99,000 desktops and laptops, and 3,433 Virtual Desktop remote connections. ITS operates a secure network of over 1,600 miles of fiber to deliver telecommunications, Internet and Intranet services, enterprise email systems and support, IT training, networking, data storage and processing to State government entities in addition to developing new services in support of citizens, businesses and State Agencies.

For more information, visit https://its.ny.gov and follow us on Twitter @nysits.

###