Buckeye Hills Supports Formation of AOGDP
The following story was published in the December issue of Buckeye Hills - Hocking Valley Regional Development District's "News and Issues Update". The complete issue can be read by clicking here.
The formation of the Appalachian Ohio Geospatial Data Partnership is an important step forward for Southeastern Ohio in geospatial knowledge and technologies. For years, only a few parties (a limited number of county governments, municipalities, and regional organizations) in the region have been actively sustaining an ongoing GIS effort. Concentrating on bringing the benefits of this technology to the residents of the region, Buckeye Hills was pleased to participate in the formation of the new partnership. It will give our organization the opportunity to formalize some of the informal working relationships that have been developed over the years. The partnership provides the region (which has generally been underserved and underdeveloped in terms of GIS data, GIS application development, and overall GIS knowledge) an opportunity to capitalize on the concentrated efforts of an organization that exists solely:
- to promote the development of standards-based spatial data,
- to share that data, and
- to ensure that spatial data and knowledge is transferred to any interested
- parties within the region.
Prior to the formation of this group, these efforts were headed by organizations like Buckeye Hills, ILGARD at the Voinovich School (Ohio University), and the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District in an informal manner, using whatever resources were available. The Appalachian Ohio Geospatial Data Partnership provides an opportunity and a vessel by which specific GIS projects can be completed which may be outside what could be accomplished by any of the member organizations or governments on their own. From this partnership Buckeye Hills hopes to increase the dissemination of spatial technologies to areas and populations which may have been previously unreachable, and to also further the concept of thinking spatially to all of our constituents and interested organizations.
"It is my personal hope that this organization, through a combination of efforts and resources can spur a new round of spatial data creation in the Buckeye Hills region," said GIS Manager Bret Allphin. "GIS enabled data will not only provide benefits for the immediate need of trying to respond to petroleum exploration efforts in the Utica and Marcellus Shale, but this will also provide benefits to the economic development community, to the planning and administrative capacities of local governments, and to local landowners as a whole."
Allphin added that the spatial data needs of the region are great, especially when compared to the capabilities of the regions and areas surrounding the AOGDP service area. "I'm hopeful that the cooperative efforts of the parties involved in the AOGDP can start to bring Southeastern Ohio not only to a level playing field with the rest of the state, but push us into the lead as an example of what can be accomplished through focused, coordinated efforts by flexible and knowledgeable groups in the region," added Allphin.