Writing over at the ESRI blog today, founder and president Jack Dangermond shared his thoughts on how maps and GIS information can contribute to improving government transparency and accountability:
Born out of the Gov 2.0 movement, the terms transparency and accountability have become part of the daily vernacular of governments and the citizens they serve. One might even suggest these words have become a new expectation of governing. Transparency and accountability began with a simple concept of openly communicating public policy to the taxpayer. Today, these concepts are thriving within a growing emphasis on developing an interactive dialog between governments and the people.
Maps can be a very valuable part of transparency in government. Maps give people a greater understanding of the world around them. They can help tell stories and many times be more valuable than the data itself. They provide a context for taxpayers to better understand how spending or decisions are being made in a circumstance of where they work and live. Maps help us describe conditions and situations, and help tell stories, often related to one’s own understanding of content.
I spoke with Dangermond about precisely this subject last year at the Gov 2.0 Summit in Washington. I believe the interview holds up and remains relevant to the conversation around open government today.
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