ESRI’s LGIM is great, but…

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ESRI’s LGIM is great, but…

ESRI has long provided ArcGIS for Local Government and with it the Local Government Information Model (or LGIM).  The LGIM is a model based on specific GIS datasets, web services and map components that are commonly used by Governments in their implementations of ArcGIS.

The LGIM is comprehensive.  The team at ESRI have done a stellar job of collecting and packaging the information and making it available to their customers.  The Local Government Information Model comes with a huge array of datasets and classes covering: school boundaries, tax assessment, election districts, emergency operations (police and fire), facilities, streets, addresses, and so much more.

The Local Government Information Model is great, but…

The proverbial elephant in the room, the question that needs to be answered is: “Can your government use it?”

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t going to be straightforward for most governments hoping looking at the LGIM.  If your city/county/state doesn’t have any existing GIS data or systems, then we would very highly recommend starting with LGIM and configuring aspects to suit your situation.

The reality for most governments is far different.  For most organizations, and this is true for governments as well, the adoption of GIS technologies has been sporadic and disparate.  Different groups with different needs select and implement different solutions that specifically address a singular problem.  As time goes on, more demands are made of that solution and more (data, features, functions) are added in an ad-hoc manner.  GIS implementations typically end up being very silo’ed and lack any consistency of operational efficiency.

Over the last couple years concerns around costs combined with the desire to provide quality information in an efficient manner have governments looking to consolidate GIS platforms and data.  It’s impossible to know if the LGIM is a good fit for you until you have a complete understanding of the current state of your GIS infrastructure, systems and data.  Here are a few things to review when evaluating:

  • Any and all GIS systems currently in use.
  • All departments, groups, teams, external systems (including public information portals) connected.
  • Existing datasets and sources of data.
  • Workflow processes for teams who operate the GIS platform.
  • Any current or future needs from the system

Once you’ve performed a thorough assessment and have an understanding of the goals and future state of GIS for your government, then you are able to really evaluate if the LGIM will be a good fit for you.  In our experience, the LGIM is a good starting point.  In most implementations the LGIM will need to be configured to the governments specific needs and the existing data converted and augmented.  The solution is often a hybrid.

At the end of the day, ESRI’s LGIM is a great starting point and offers most governments the flexibility to grow and extend their services and offerings.  Understanding where you are starting from can be as important as deciding how you envision the end state for your government’s GIS, we can help you get there!

Contact us to get started:

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