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GIS Strategic Planning for State and Local Government

The Cornerstone of Success

23 January 2024 | 10:00am MT

Hosted by

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Strategic Planning is critical to elevate the role of GIS in state and local government planning and operations. Attend this webinar to gain insights into effective GIS strategic planning in government, and learn best practices and solutions for overcoming common implementation challenges.



Strategic Planning is critical to elevate the role of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in state and local government planning and operations. This engaging session, featuring industry experts including a specialist from Esri, provides valuable insights into the strategic importance of GIS. Attendees will explore current trends and best practices in geospatial strategy and technology, focusing on how GIS can enhance governmental decision-making and service delivery.

We will delve into effective governance and management practices necessary for successful GIS implementation, highlighting the need for robust policies and adaptable strategies. A key feature of the event is a roundtable discussion, fostering an interactive environment for sharing experiences, challenges, and solutions in GIS application. Targeted at government officials, GIS professionals, and related stakeholders, this webinar is a vital platform for anyone looking to leverage GIS for more efficient and innovative government operations.



  • State and Local Government Officials

  • GIS Analysts and Coordinators

  • IT Managers and Directors

  • Urban and Regional Planners

  • Emergency Management Directors

  • Environmental Managers and Scientists

  • Policy Makers and Advisors

  • Academics and Researchers in Geospatial Sciences

  • Nonprofit and Community Leaders

  • Private Sector GIS Consultants and Vendors

  • Public Works Directors

  • Transportation Planners

  • Data Analysts

  • Geographic Information Officers

  • Land Use Planners

Key Takeaways include:

  • Importance of Strategic GIS Planning: Understanding the crucial role GIS plays in enhancing decision-making, resource management, and public service delivery in state and local government. This includes insights into how a well-formulated GIS strategic plan aligns with broader governmental goals and objectives, leading to more efficient and effective governance.

  • Best Practices in Geospatial Strategy: Learning from industry leaders like Esri and experienced GIS professionals about emerging trends, innovative technologies, and best practices in the field of geospatial strategy. This includes gaining knowledge about incorporating GIS into overall strategic planning and understanding the technological advancements that can be leveraged for better geospatial data management and analysis.

  • Governance and Management of GIS Initiatives: Gaining insights into effective governance models and management practices essential for successful GIS implementation. This covers the establishment of policies, standards, and frameworks that ensure sustainable, scalable, and adaptable GIS operations, as well as case studies demonstrating successful governance in action.

  • Collaborative Learning and Network Building: The opportunity to engage in a roundtable discussion provides a platform for collaborative learning, sharing experiences, challenges, and solutions among peers. This session highlights the value of networking, fostering a community of practice, and encouraging ongoing dialogue among GIS professionals, government officials, and industry experts.

GISP Points

This event may qualify for GIS Certification Institute continuing education credits.

To submit for GISP Points, visit to self-submit the event curriculum for approval



23 January 2024
10:00am - 11:30am
All times in US Denver Mountain time



Welcome Remarks

Moderator: Barbara Ryan, Former Executive Director, World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC)

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An introduction to the webinar and presenters.



Why Develop A GIS Strategic Plan

David Holdstock, CEO, Geographic Technologies Group

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Author and GTG CEO David Holdstock will explain the significance of a GIS strategic plan in state and local government, highlighting how GIS strategic planning can lead to better decision-making, improved resource management, and enhanced public services. David will share successful case studies where strategic GIS planning made a significant impact.



How to Develop a Strategic GIS Equity Plan, in 4 steps

Sophia Garcia, Equity and Civic Nonprofits Industry Lead, Esri

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Esri's Equity and Civic Nonprofits Industry Lead Sophia Garcia will Introduce the concept around how GIS provides the data, tools, and geographic lens through which to approach, discuss, and address equity issues. She will discuss how a strategic equity plan helps organizations establish an organizational strategy for achieving equity rather than relying on ad hoc, project-by-project or department-by-department results, and provide insights from Esri on emerging trends and best practices in geospatial strategy and equity.



Outcomes of a GIS Strategic Plan

Savita Chaudhary, Assistant City Manager / Director of IT, City of Fairfield CA

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In this session, the City of Fairfield CA's Asst City Manager and Director of IT Savita Chaudhary will discuss aligning GIS initiatives with governmental goals and objectives.  To develop a Cost-Benefit Analysis, she will explore the return on investment and long-term benefits of a GIS strategic plan, and address how to create a plan that is both sustainable and adaptable to future changes.



Developing an Optimum GIS Governance Model

Patrick Baber, Chief Data Officer, City of Roswell, Georgia 

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Patrick Baber from the City of Roswell GA will explore effective governance models for managing GIS programs & initiatives, and discuss the importance of establishing clear policies and standards for GIS implementation and use. He will share examples highlighting successful governance and management practices. 



Panel Discussion / Audience Q&A

Moderator: Barbara Ryan, Former Executive Director, WGIC
David Holdstock, CEO, Geographic Technologies Group
Sophia Garcia, Equity and Civic Nonprofits Industry Lead, Esri
Savita Chaudhary, Assistant City Manager / Director of IT, City of Fairfield CA
Patrick Baber, Chief Data Officer, City of Roswell, Georgia 

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A panel discussion of GIS Strategic Planning for State and Local Government, with live audience question-and-answers.



Closing Remarks

Moderator: Barbara Ryan, Former Executive Director, World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC)

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Session wrap-up and audience take-aways.

Conference Format

Hosted on an exciting and interactive virtual event platform, this event series features a virtual auditorium, plus audience interaction via Q&A and Polls.



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Moderator: Barbara Ryan

Former Executive Director
World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIC)

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Barbara Ryan recently retired as Executive Director of the World Geospatial Industry Council (WGIS). Under Barbara Ryan’s leadership, millions of satellite images were made available to the general public at no charge, allowing scientists, planners, and policy makers to make better-informed decisions on a range of environmental problems. Her advocacy for revamping the 36-year-old Landsat Data Policy (in 2008) resulted in annual economic benefits of $2.1B globally. Barbara’s career began in 1974 at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) where she spent the next 34 years working in seven States and Washington, D.C. From 2008 to 2012, she was Director of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Space Programme, and from 2012 to 2018, Ryan was the Secretariat Director of the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO) in Geneva, Switzerland. In January 2021, Barbara became WGIC's second Executive Director.  WGIC is a global not-for-profit trade association of private-sector companies working in the geospatial and Earth observation ecosystem.  Barbara's interests build on a long career in environmental governance, science and technology, and international collaboration.  She is a strong advocate for open data policies, the integration of Earth observations, and hyper-partnering to ensure that existing and planned resources can be more effectively used to address the significant environmental and social issues facing the world today.

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David Holdstock

CEO, Geographic Technologies Group

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David Holdstock, BA, MS, a geographic information systems (GIS) Professional and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), co-established and incorporated Geographic Technologies Group, Inc. in 1997. David is a GIS practitioner and a leading expert in developing enterprise and sustainable GIS strategic implementation plans for towns, cities, and counties. Over the past 25 years, he has planned, designed, and coordinated the adoption and implementation of GIS technology for over 300 local government organizations. He has published many articles on GIS strategic implementation planning for local government. David has conducted hundreds of workshops, seminars, and discussions on GIS implementation, and has been keynote speaker in numerous events. David has published two books on GIS strategic planning including “Strategic GIS Planning and Management in Local Government”, 2017, and “Smart Geospatial Practices and Applications in Local Government: An Altogether Different Language” 2020. In 1997, David left ITRE to start Geographic Technologies Group. GTG is a leading provider of GIS software and services. The company has been recognized as one of the "100 Most Promising Companies" by Forbes and one of the "500 Fastest Growing Companies" by Inc.

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Sophia Garcia

Equity and Civic Nonprofits Industry Lead, Esri

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Sophia Garcia is Esri’s Lead Equity and Civic Nonprofits lead. Her work at the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF), a social justice nonprofit in California’s Central Valley, laid the groundwork for institutionalizing Esri’s Equity and mapping work. At DHF, Sophia worked with community organizations across California to pass legislation for more fair and equitable redistricting codified in AB 849 the Fair Maps Act. Sophia subsequently worked as a consultant with over one-hundred municipalities, including five of California’s 10 largest cities, to implement the Fair Maps Act. Sophia’s GIS career has been focused on participatory community GIS and implementing GIS with an equity lens. She is excited to continue working with users to understand and apply GIS and geospatial thinking to equity issues.

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Savita Chaudhary

Assistant City Manager / Director of IT, City of Fairfield CA

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Savita Chaudhary joined the City of Fairfield on October 11, 2021. She has over 18 years of experience in the public sector and recently served as Director of 311 Call Center / IT for City of Berkeley and Chief Information Officer for Vacaville. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Master of Science in Statistics, Delhi University Delhi, India, and a Master of Public Administration, Golden Gate University. Savita belongs to many notable professional organizations such as the International City/County Management Association, Municipal Management Association of Northern California, Municipal Information Systems Association of California, and Metropolitan Information Exchange.

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Patrick Baber

Chief Data Officer, City of Roswell, Georgia 

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Patrick Baber is the Chief Data Officer at The City of Roswell, Georgia. He spearheaded the overhaul of the city's GIS, creating a nationally recognized municipal GIS Division by implementing data and organizational governance, identifying and centralizing authoritative databases, and developing departmental/divisional GIS tools and applications. Patrick was previously the GIS Manager for the City of Roswell, a Senior Analyst at Team Spatial, a Portfolio Manager with NV5 (formerly Quantum Spatial), a Senior Geospatial Analyst with Photo Science and a GIS Manager with Jacobs. Patrick has a BS in Geography and GIS from the University of Georgia, a GISP from the GSCI, and a PMP from the PMI.



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Geographic Technologies Group (GTG) is committed to advancing the science of location intelligence and geospatial technology.  We want to inspire, push the envelope, break through boundaries, solve problems, and introduce a new kind of decision support. We go beyond location intelligence to plan, design, build, implement, transform, and maintain. We use spatial information to empower understanding, influence the decision-making process, offer new insights, reveal new data relationships, predict events, engage and educate the community, and solve problems of the future. The ultimate outcome is a smarter, more resilient, and sustainable government. We create location intelligent organizations!

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