GIS Government News Weekly: NSW Geo Strategy, Crowdsourcing NYC Dangers, 311 in NC

NSW Location Intelligence Strategy

The state of New South Wales in Australia launched a strategy to encourage the public and private sectors to encourage geospatial datasets created by government agencies. The NSW Location Intelligence Strategy (PDF) provides the details, but here's the vision statement:

Our vision is to maximise the value of location intelligence in decision making, planning and service delivery for the benefit of the NSW Government, industry and communities.

Joe Francica looked at the effort in a blog post.

Mapping Danger in NYC

The NYC Department of Transportation is crowdsourcing and mapping dangerous corridors, wide pedestrian crossings and bad driving behavior on a new interactive website launched last week. The website,, received 570 comments in its first day and is part of the Vision Zero safety initiative from the city. The map uses OpenPlans' ShareAbouts tool and OSM.

Learn GIS for Disaster Response in One Day!

Over seventy of Rhode Island’s emergency response leaders and professionals met Thursday at the University of Rhode Island’s Coastal Institute Auditorium and left with the knowledge of how to employ a geographic information system (GIS) to combat future natural disasters in the state.

Apparently, attendees just listened to speakers at the conference, sponsored by the URI Coastal Institute and URI Environmental Data Center, and the R.I. Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA), R.I. Division of Planning and R.I. Geographic Information System. Sample maps noted in the article labeled both maps and apps. What's the difference? An app uses a story map template and a map just uses ArcGIS Online.

More London Parks on the Map

An online map of London parks has been expanded across the capital.

'Parklife London', first launched in 12 inner London boroughs, has now been extended to 20 boroughs across the capital covering 2,300 parks.

It's location-based so shows you parks near you. It's from the City Bridge Trust, a charity.

Linear Referencing on the Greenbelt Trail

There are now large painted numbers on the pavement of the Greenbelt Trail in Kentucky.

It's part of the trails new emergency marking system, put in place after two years of planning.  Officials say the numbers act like a street address at your home. Dispatchers use numbers on the trail to pinpoint where you are on the trail so that first responders can get to you quicker and easier.

Using 311 App in NC

Between August 2013 and last month, 458 items have been reported to Salisbury, NC's 311GIS, according to the city’s GIS coordinator Kathryn Clifton. The system, currently in a free pilot, has 190 registered users, including 146 residents and 44 city staff members. The population is about 33,000. Most interesting, however, is the top ten list of complaints.

10. Animal carcass in the road (nine reports)

9. Broken or uneven sidewalk (10)

8. Pick up bulky items (12)

7. Trash not picked up (12)

6. Illegal dumping (14)

5. Overgrown grass (14)

4. Large pile of limbs (19)

3. Abandoned housing/bad housing (22)

2. Pothole (29)

1. Street light out, damaged or flickering (225)

The city will soon decide if it will fund a subscription.

SMS Warnings for Rwanda

Rwanda through Ministry of Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Affairs (MIDIMAR) is doing final tests on the use of mobile phone short messaging service (SMS) to alert the public about imminent disasters.

It's not clear how of if the alerts will be addressed to specific geographies.

LiDAR and Tools for Minnesota

Under the Minnesota Elevation Mapping Project, high-accuracy elevation data was collected for the state using LiDAR technology. The MnTOPO website at makes this data available so users can view topographic information as 3-D terrain and/or contours for all of Minnesota in a seamless panning environment.
The viewer is built on ArcGIS Online. There's a 16 page PDF that explains how to use it.
Census Director Talks Public Private Partnerships 
On a trip to North Dakota the new Census Director Thompson suggested public-private partnerships with mapping companies may be part of the next census.

Published Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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