Synopsis: With an influx of federal and state funds towards new GIS programs the GIS marketplace is undergoing massive shifts. While these grants bring opportunities, accessing it requires a changing approach to how we gather data and what data we gather.
AppGeo and Sanborn are using our expertise in GIS to analyze and improve how state GIOs do business. This webinar (recorded on December 14th, 2022) brings together John Copple, CEO of Sanborn, Jason Caldwell, VP of Business Development and Sales at Sanborn, Kate Hickey, COO at Appgeo, and Bill Johnson, Customer Engineer and Carpe Geo Evangelist at AppGeo to discuss the future of GIS at the state level.
Bill Johnson on the Geospatial Chance of a Lifetime
Johnson: “We’re seeing a massive influx of new spending right now, what some people are calling ‘a once in a generation opportunity.’ It’s things around COVID relief, infrastructure, and the inflation reduction act. These are unprecedented levels of investment around things that impact everybody. A lot of this money is federal money but it is channeled through the states through grants. These programs going forward are going to have a much heavier reliance on data than they did in the past. And not just a higher reliance on data generally, but a higher reliance on geospatial data because it’s becoming more and more important to understand these problems in a geospatial context.”
With more investment for planning and public services flowing through the states, there is a huge opportunity for geospatial planners to influence programs and institutions through accurate, reliable, geospatial data. There are few tools poised as perfectly as geospatial data to play such a pivotal role in infrastructure planning and development over the decade.
Sanborn CEO John Copple’s Thoughts
Copple: “When we start talking about the civil side market including states, counties, cities, I’ve never seen the kind of funding as we’ve seen with these last two acts. Just huge amounts of money… Most of it has a relation to geospatial activities, though they aren’t called out, they are the foundation for a lot of the goals of those acts. It’s going to take a lot of collaboration with multiple entities to go after that funding.”
While geospatial data will be key, collaboration and teamwork with state, local, and private entities will be as essential to the success of any infrastructure projects. Having partners that are trusted and have maintained well established lines of communication is a must-have for anyone seeking to operate in this geospatial arena.
AppGeo COO Kate Hickey’s View
Hickey: “What’s different today is this universal recognition is that success is not just about the data or the technology. Everyone is recognizing that the most successful states out there are the ones where the Geographic Information Office is working side by side, collaborating with those agencies, and they’re all identifying and working towards common goals. For example, aligning and collaborating with the DOT or a broadband office. It really puts that GIO in a position where they can capture that available funding. That funding might appear like it’s aimed at a particular use case… but what it results in is that statewide geospatial data or asset that benefits everyone.”
While an influx of money might seem like grounds for competition, the most successful state GIOs are the ones who are able to work with other agencies and private companies. By combining forces with these outside groups, state GIOs are able to access funding that would otherwise go allocated. It also allows GIOs to get into new project areas and create data and products that benefit all agencies and people statewide.
Jason Caldwell on AppGeo and Sanborn
Caldwell: “We have seen a trend with state agencies moving forward with much more rounded types of contracts, where it’s not just about buying the data… It’s about combining the data with intelligence, with distribution models, with other curated data, with the ability to democratize the data. It’s pretty exciting. When you look at the different states that are out there and the types of contracts they are releasing, from a sales perspective being able to offer more than just the traditional products and services that Sanborn offered, now with the AppGeo combined solution, it enables a lot more potential for our business development group and for our clients in general.”
With more clients demanding data but also solutions and the ability to democratize that data, a new approach is needed. State GIOs have more stakeholders than ever and there is more data coming onto the market in more ways than ever. Making sense of what’s needed and what works is harder than it has been. That’s where Sanborn and AppGeo come in. With AppGeo’s and Sanborn’s GIS data experience combined, we are perfectly equipped to address client needs in the rapidly changing GIS and GIO ecosystem.