Geographic Information Systems in Public Sector Enterprise Architectures: Issues and Challenges

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John Dolak and Jenny Dolak


Geographic information systems (GIS) are widespread at the federal, state and local levels. Data sharing is important because the ultimate power of a GIS is its ability to graphically present layers of data from multiple unrelated disciplines to create new information that allows people to answer questions. GIS have traditionally been built on standalone, stove-piped systems that present considerable difficulties to enterprise architects for several reasons. Although there are standard exchange formats for individual data types, there is a lack of federally-mandated standards for overall GIS data sets. This paper will discuss the efforts and associated challenges at federal, state and local levels to develop and implement GIS enterprise architecture frameworks, standards and enterprise architectures in order to better manage geospatial data. It presents the U.S. Census Bureau as an example of how the federal government is pursuing data sharing efforts with local government agencies, and provides examples of state and local government organizations that are implementing GIS into their enterprise architectures. It also discusses the impact of web technologies on the GIS industry and the differing opinions of the GIS industry on these technologies.

Author biographies
John C. Dolak currently works as a senior IT specialist for the US Army‘s Network Enterprise Technology Command, Operational Engineering Directorate. Mr. Dolak previously worked for the Army Network Operations and Security Center‘s Information Assurance Team, and also served as the acting Chief and Information Assurance Section Chief of the U. S. Army Regional Emergency Response Team-Continental U.S, where he was responsible for mitigating threats to Army networks. Mr. Dolak also served with the U.S. Army Operational Test Command at Fort Huachuca, AZ as an Imagery Analyst involved in the operational testing of intelligence systems. Mr. Dolak served eight years in the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps as a photo interpreter with assignments in the Asian/Pacific theater, and as an instructor for the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School at Fort Huachuca. After leaving the Army, he managed Terragraphics, Inc., a geographic information systems and remote sensing business. He recently completed the requirements for an M.S. in Information Management from Syracuse University, and will graduate in May 2010. He holds a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Excelsior College (2008). He received the Chief Information Officer Certificate (2005) and the Advanced Management Program Certificate (2005) from the National Defense University. He can be reached at
Jenny C. Dolak works as a security manager for the US Army‘s Continental US Theater Network Operations and Security Center at Fort Huachuca, AZ. She has over 15 years of experience in the IT field. In the 1990‘s she was a principal in Terragraphics, Inc., a GIS business that focused on land use and terrain mapping projects. She recently completed the requirements for an M.S. in Information Management from Syracuse University, and will graduate in May 2010. She also holds an M.A. in Geography from the University of Arizona (1994) and a BA in Geography from the University of Arizona (1992). She received the Chief Information Officer Certificate from the National Defense University (2005). She can be reached at

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