County supports GIS collaborations

By Cecilia Nasmith

Northumberland County council this week supported a motion that promises to maximize Geographic Information Systems and their application in the efficient delivery of services.

GIS-asset management specialist Cora Bevan delivered her report that described the significant cost pressures both the county and its members municipalities face in this area, not to mention the challenges of expensive licensing costs and limited staff resources and expertise.

Bevan said that Northumberland County and its constituent municipalities have been working collaboratively to identify and implement opportunities for shared services. In fact, in 2008, they formed a co-operative for this purpose,

“We have accomplished a number of projects since then, with municipalities and across the county,” she said.

Issues addressed include outdated data and underutilization of the technology in meeting the demands municipalities face.

Members of the Northumberland GIS co-operative, in recognition of the importance and benefits of the shared-service approach, are now exploring opportunities in terms of data collection and analysis, staff training and asset-management data support.