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Geospatial technology boosts economic growth

UK: Geospatial technology saved councils GBP 230 million and boosted GDP by around GBP 323 million in England and Wales in 2009, according to a report produced by ConsultingWhere Limited and ACIL Tasman. It was prepared for the Local Government Association (LGA) and Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA).

Mobile, web-mapping and satellite technologies are making people more efficient, helping them  get basic information such as bus arrival timings etc. and keep citizens informed about roadworks.

Research for the Local Government Association found that the adoption of geospatial technology is now advanced enough to affect councils’ budgets and efficiency. Over the last few years, internal databases have been linked, electronically stored maps have been introduced and geospatial IT has been integrated into mainstream enterprise systems, leading to mobile applications and other services that boost efficiency.

Recent innovations include iPhone applications that allow users to point their phone at a pub, restaurant or take-away and receive its hygiene rating; applications allowing users to send photographs of fly-tipping and vandalism so councils can deal with it quickly and a programme allowing residents to buy a parking ticket before they leave the house.

Councillor David Parsons, chairman of the Local Government Association’s Improvement Board, said, “It is estimated such technology and information sharing could potentially save councils up to GBP 372 million by 2014/15. In this climate of strained budgets, councils must strive to keep reaching more residents and improving services in a creative manner and look at more ways of working together to make big savings.”

Source: Computer Weekly