From Sensors and Systems:
“Is my property being taxed fairly?”
“Are zoning variances being granted in a consistent manner?”
“Is my flood insurance rate justified?”
These are the types of questions concerned citizens may ask, both in their own interest, and in the interest of maintaining a responsive and equitable democracy. Our democratic system of government is supposed to conduct the public’s business fairly and consistently within the explicit directives of the citizens’ elected representatives. But how can citizens know if that is happening? And how can citizens know that their representatives are actually conducting “the people’s business” rather than their own? Transparency is required for maintaining our governments’ accountability to its citizens.
Transparency means giving citizens access to their governments’ records, to the same information that government agencies themselves use to make decisions and conduct operations. With it, interested persons can understand, verify, and possibly challenge a governmental action. Since most governmental actions impact specific locations, geographic information is critical to governmental accountability, and GIS technology and professionals are critical to analyzing that information.