Timmons Group, a leader in geospatial and engineering services, has been selected to perform an evaluation of the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and geospatial technologies across all relevant departments for the City of Lynchburg, Virginia. Forty-five municipal staff, from nineteen departments and divisions are collaborating with Timmons Group in order to document the current status of their GIS. The purpose of this evaluation is to benchmark the Lynchburg against "best practices" in local governments in Virginia, and to prepare recommendations for city management regarding how to enhance Lynchburg's current GIS, a system in operation since 1991. Lynchburg envisions utilizing GIS technology for comprehensive critical services to its citizenry, including the following: emergency response; property assessment, location and management of critical infrastructure; tracking of land use and zoning information; and planning of new development, streets, buildings and services. Existing departmental GIS technologies will be reviewed, and a current geospatial data catalog will be developed. Current GIS practices in the City of Lynchburg will be benchmarked against "best practices" in other local governments in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with a special focus on the effective use of GIS technologies, cost savings, or revenue enhancement opportunities. The final project report will highlight recommendations for improved citizen access to the City's GIS information, standardization of GIS technologies, opportunities to utilize enterprise data sources to support multiple departments' GIS technology needs, and reduction of redundant data maintenance across the government. The work completed in this project will provide key municipal staff an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the current geospatial landscape within the city, enabling decision makers to extract the best possible return on Lynchburg's Geospatial technology investment.

Source: Timmons Group, Jan. 11, 2006.