Oklahoma's state agencies have been interested in geographic information system (GIS) technology since the late 1980's. In 1994 the Oklahoma Legislature passed and the Governor signed a bill that authorized the Oklahoma Conservation Commission to prepare a "Strategy for Developing a GIS for the State of Oklahoma" and created the State GIS Council to assist the Conservation Commission in this project.
Previous studies showed that many public agencies within Oklahoma had made individual efforts to implement GIS. Most efforts were independent of any planning or coordination with other agencies. As a result, many of the advantages gained through the use of GIS were not fully realized. While GIS serves a useful purpose in automating individual agencies, its tremendous potential is only realized by sharing and integrating information between agencies. This improves all state functions by helping overcome the data sharing difficulties experienced in the past.
Considerable potential exists for data sharing between various agencies within state government because many departments within agencies perform similar or related functions. These departments currently use the same data, often collected and stored in different ways. Data sharing with local governments (e.g., parcel-based data) and federal agencies (e.g. soil-type data) offers tremendous potential for information exchange and real cost savings.
The OKGIS list is a forum for discussion of issues related to Geographic Information Systems in the state of Oklahoma. For information go to http://gis.ou.edu/sympa/subscribe/okgis.