Benefiting from a 2 Tier GIS Strategy


Spatial data, or Geospatial data, has traditionally been implemented in organisations with powerful and complex applications that require a team of highly trained GIS scientists to decipher and analyse the data linked to locations. This highly specialised team within an organisation can be identified as 1 Tier GIS strategy in the sense that these professionals are the only people trained to work with complex systems, such as CAD, ARC GIS and Map Info, just to name a few.

But the technology is changing, with a growing number of GIS software applications and services that run on a wide range of operating systems and via the Web. The wide-spread use of Google Maps, Bing maps, and Apple maps have enabled non-scientists to learn spatial data technology and analyse the information linked to the location. Nearly everyone uses maps and people have integrated this form of spatial imagery and data technology into their daily lives. GPS-enabled phones that pinpoint locations and provide information are also now part of daily life.

Organisations have a great opportunity to leverage the innate skills that the general public has acquired from working with various maps and location technologies. The key is to expand the benefits of spatial data beyond the current specialists to the entire workforce.

A bit of history behind 2 Tier GIS

A study by R.E. Sieber1 revealed that grassroots organisations (GROs) were able to successfully implement GIS technology (including in local governments) by using alternatives to the traditional models, which could be tailored to each organisation and evolve with changing needs.

The research concluded that a successful implementation of this ground breaking approach included the following factors:

  • Evaluation of user needs
  • Long-term upper management commitment to the project
  • Sufficient allocation of resources
  • A “GIS Champion” to ensure smooth transition

Find out more about how your organisation can expand the benefits of spatial data beyond the current specialists to the entire workforce by downloading our full whitepaper.