In 1966, local leaders in the greater San Diego, California, region realized that the best way to face challenges that impacted their community was to work together. Local governments in the San Diego metropolitan region had been working together initially under a state-authorized joint powers agreement, and from 2003 on as a state-mandated regional agency. As it was first called, the Comprehensive Planning Organization served as a long-range planning department within the San Diego County government for the greater San Diego region. In 1980, the organization was renamed the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).
With multiple stakeholder and interested parties, SANDAG began using GIS technology as a tool to help build consensus and show how projects will affect both their communities and the larger region. The latest case study from the Esri Smart Communities Case Study Series highlights three ways SANDAG utilized GIS tools for regional collaboration.
1. Planning Tool. The forecasting maps that the GIS technology produce have proven to be a beneficial tool to help show interested parties how all the components of a project fit together during the project planning process. “Charts and graphs don’t lend themselves to easy interpretation, but maps do,” says Pat Landrum, senior SANDAG GIS analyst.
2. Story Maps. Similar to the forecasting maps, this GIS tool is an easy way for SANDAG to show its stakeholder and citizens the progress it is making on projects and get direct feedback. Their TransNet (the region’s voter approved half-cent sales tax) story map helps citizens see how and where their tax money is being spent.
3. 3D GIS. SANDAG is working on a prototype project to create an urban canvas that can forecast outputs and support scenario planning and visualization. Among the GIS data layers to be developed for analysis are buildings (with detailed floor-by-floor characteristics), zoning, fees, and parking.