Wisconsin Geospatial News

State GIO reflects on his first year

David Mockert

After being in the Geographic Information Officer (GIO) role for slightly more than a year now, I reflect back on the past 12 months of Wisconsin enterprise GIS, or what I call “WEGIS” for short. Although I am somewhat discouraged by the lack of tangible accomplishments, I certainly have witnessed progress towards a bright future for enterprise GIS in the state of Wisconsin. 

We have taken on the difficult task of bringing the “silos” of state agencies together, and are developing a sustainable model for supplying GIS services throughout the state. Lasting change is difficult and certainly does not happen overnight. With continued determination toward resource sharing and collaboration, the establishment of the Office of the GIO will take form. 

Despite a level of frustration with not getting traction on enterprise initiatives, I remain enthusiastic about our coordination efforts within the state. Overall, the relationship between the Department of Administration (DOA) and the statewide GIS community (local – federal) has been improving. Much of the delay in progress is mired in state agency IT consolidation efforts.  While this consolidation has been slowed since the original WEGIS Plan was pitched, work continues on bringing together services for a number of state agencies. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is well underway to upgrading their infrastructure and GIS architecture to ArcGIS 9.1. Once this is completed, creation of the enterprise infrastructure will begin to take shape. 

One glimmer of hope I have seen for GIS in Wisconsin has been working on the statewide GIS strategic plan. The draft of this plan should be completed very soon. Creating a common goal and the willingness to collaborate our GIS efforts across jurisdictions and functions will define the future of GIS services in Wisconsin.

I look forward to working with you all to make Wisconsin a national leader in statewide GIS!