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Malopolska Region GIS Situation Assessment and Technology Strengthening Strategy

Client: Malopolska Voivodship
Location: Krakow, Poland
Starting Year: 2003

GIS has been under development in the City of Krakow and Malopolska Voivodship for over 10 years.  In more recent times, changes in the government structure created the Malopolska Marshall Office, and some of the responsibilities of the Voivodship were transferred there, including the management of the regional GIS.  Originally planned as a coordinated effort among the two agencies, over the past few years the level of coordination has dropped.  Both the City of Krakow and the Marshall Office have made significant investments in GIS technology.  Very comprehensive databases have been developed, and many projects and several applications have been developed to support end-user needs.  All three organizations are all now in a good position to leverage past investments by operationalizing their systems, expanding the access and use of GIS within their respective organizations, and developing a multi-level spatial data infrastructure (SDI) to support a broad spectrum of stakeholders throughout the Malopolska region.  Despite the successes so far, bringing GIS out of its origins in the geodesy and cartography fields will face some serious challenges.  National law in Poland is very prescriptive and defines in very narrow terms the responsibilities and limitations of nearly every department.  Rules concerning data sharing and charging are restrictive and do not greatly support or promote data sharing across organizational boundaries.  Also, within the 3 layers of government there are many cases of overlapping responsibilities that are still be sorted out.  The economy in the Malopolska region has been relatively stagnant for some time, thus government budgets are tight.

GPC supported the analysis of fundamental GIS requirements within the 3 participating agencies to carry out a rapid assessment to understand the full breadth of potential applications across all 3 organizations, and more generally across all the other governmental and other potential GIS stakeholders across the Malopolska region.  The findings of the study have been used as the basis for formulating an initial strategy for the strengthening of the technology within the 3 agencies, and the incremental development of a common spatial data infrastructure across the region that can eventually serve an even broader range of other stakeholders.