The Bavarian State Forest Administration enterprise GIS is used by 1,200 officials and employees. GIO Christian Simbeck explained the value of three new applications his IT staff recently developed at the Esri UC Plenary.
Christian said that the mission of the IT department is to provide foresters with GIS tools that help them achieve their mission, optimize their workflows, and be more productive. But these tools cannot be intimidating. With this mission in mind, the German organization’s developers created some highly productive forestry applications:
- The change-of-forest area application is useful for monitoring changes such as newly harvested or planted forest. Forest data collected by foresters via the mobile application is processed by the IT team so that it can be used for land survey.
- A wildlife density application compares species population to natural habitat, which is the basis for issuing hunting permits. This application reduced the time to perform species counts tasks by 20 to 50%.
- A mobile application gives foresters access to data including 90 different themes and 130 layers of information.
Christian talked about some of the lessons he learned in creating a successful GIS. Specifically, he recommended a precise requirements engineering that answers questions such as:
- Who are your stakeholders (users) and what are their characteristics?
- Where do they work (connected, disconnected, office, a forest, or both)?
- What are their workflows (not just the required maps or “information products”, but what are they really doing, step-by-step?)