GeoWorld November 2012

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SCAG GIS Services Students SCAG GIS Services Program by Service Type Service Types GIS Training (67) Data/Map Support (40) Desktop/Web Application (24) by City 85% 51% 30% by Service 40% 24% 14% On-site visits (22) 28% 13% GIS Rollout (16) 20% 9% TOTAL (169) 100% Figure 4. A table shows the distribution of services provided by service types. Courses Advanced GIS Intermediate GIS Intro. to GIS Transcad Number @ SCAG Total Courses Students 2 16 5 52 22 208 2 28 13 130 2012 Planned Courses Seats 3 48 5 80 6 92 2 32 9 144 Number Outside SCAG 18 174 7 108 Total 31 304 17 259 Figure 6. SCAG helped train more than 300 people to better use GIS technology. mobile GIS lab, comprised of eight laptops and a projector for the training. Courses include Introduction to GIS, Intermediate GIS and Advanced GIS as well as Transcad (a transportation modeling software with a GIS base). The program is free to SCAG member agencies. Positive Feedback "The city of San Clemente is grateful to be a part of the SCAG local government GIS Services program," notes Christopher Wright, city of San Clemente's associate planner. Wright describes the program as invaluable for the following reasons: 1. The SCAG program gave staff a point of contact to work through GIS issues. With San Clemente's limited resources, it was tremendously helpful to have free tech support during tough economic times. The tech support and training gave San Clemente staff more knowledge, at critical times, to work with its consultant on developing a General Plan and existing land-use data. 2. Through the process, SCAG helped San Clemente get its data in much better shape when it generated General Plan, zoning and existing land-use Shapefile data from paper maps and tabulated data. Because of the SCAG local-government program, San Clemente was able to improve the data's accuracy to make better forecasts. Figure 5. Javier Aguilar teaches an Introduction to GIS class created by SCAG. Government Special Issue 3. SCAG training gave San Clemente staff more knowledge to assess computer software and hardware, GIS procedures, and GIS data. 4. The program put San Clemente in contact with other cities that have experience upgrading a similar GIS. This helped identify what San Clemente can do, with current resources, to improve its data and establish a foundation for a system upgrade in the future. "The city [of Perris] has recently been certified to receive Community Development Block Grant funds," adds Ilene Paik, assistant planner, city of Perris. "The manner in which [SCAG] conducted business has been very professional and timely. These services helped us greatly in tracking and distributing funds to the people that will need them most." The program's next steps are to provide more GIS training and follow-up visits to participating members. SCAG plans to provide hardware and software to four additional members and enroll 10 more jurisdictions by the end of 2012. In the longer term, the program hopes to involve the region's remaining jurisdictions, implement a GIS Portal for data sharing, provide transportation modeling training (in Transcad) and publish a quarterly e-newsletter for GIS program participants. Author's Note: For more information about SCAG programs, plans, initiatives and services, visit or call 213-236-1800. Javier Aguilar is senior regional planner, Javier Minjares is senior regional planner specialist, and Angela Rushen is manager of media and public affairs, Southern California Association of Governments; e-mail:, and, respectively. N O V E M B E R 2 O 1 2 / W W W . G E O P L A C E . C O M 21

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