Barriers to GIS Use in Planning

Although geographic information systems (GIS) are widely available in local government, GIS may be underused as a planning tool. This study examines current barriers hindering GIS use in public planning agencies and offers suggestions on how to mitigate these barriers and help planning agencies move beyond using GIS simply for routine tasks of data access and mapmaking. A web-based survey of 265 practitioners in Wisconsin's public planning agencies was conducted, followed by interviews with 20 practitioners. Results show that planning departments still face a range of technological, organizational, and institutional barriers in using GIS. Training, funding, and data issues appear to be the most significant barriers preventing greater use of GIS for planning purposes, suggesting that organizational and institutional issues are more signficant than technological barriers. A literature review indicates that the barriers to GIS use in local government are similar to those of the past, but not identical. In general, practitioners do not seem to be aware of the full potential of GIS and planning support systems (PSS). These findings indicate the need for more GIS training geared toward the planning process and planning applications.


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  • Accession Number: 01157653
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 28 2010 1:56PM