The Local Government Spatial Reference Group (LGSRG) provides a voice for GIS professional staff across Victoria’s 79 councils. The LGSRG is committed to developing awareness in councils and their capacity to make effective use of spatial information, tools and processes.
A key activity to support development of capacity is an annual series of workshops held in four locations around Victoria. The workshops, free for council staff to attend, provide an opportunity for officers to learn about topical issues and share their experiences. The 2017 workshops discussed the significance of ‘open data’ to Local Government and to creating opportunities for development of new services based on the availability of rich, local data. The workshops also discussed the advance of UAV’s or RPAS (remotely piloted aircraft systems) that are attracting a lot of attention. The workshops discussed how Council GIS officers can support their organisations to make effective decisions on collecting geospatial data from RPAS. The workshops were very well received. Positive feedback from the workshop included: Meeting people from neighbouring Councils, and Sharing ideas encourages innovation.
The other major vehicle for creating ‘spatial’ awareness in Councils is through the annual LGSRG GIS Good Practice benchmarking survey. The 2016 Good Practice survey indicated that across the board, Councils are continually to improve their abilities to support better property and asset management, and community engagement. The results of the last survey were examined in the workshops.
According to Barrett Higman, Chair for the LGSRG, the need for professional advice on the use of geospatial services within Councils has never been stronger. Most Councils have very limited GIS staff resources but at the same time increasingly rely on the intuitiveness of digital mapping to make investment decisions; engage with state government and to service rate payers.
Spatial Vision supports the facilitation of the LGSRG workshops and implementation of the GIS Good Practice benchmarking survey.