Southeast Alaska GIS Library
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About the Library

Strategic Plan 2014-2018

The Southeast Alaska GIS Library Steering Committee completed their strategic planning process in December of 2014.  The resulting plan will server as a road map for activities over the next four years.


The Southeast Alaska GIS Library is a partnership which stewards a significant and diverse array of geospatial data, applications, and services specific to Southeast Alaska.  The Library also ensures consistent data standardization and efficient distribution delivered through a model of collaboration and long-term sustainability.  

Support and sponsorship of the Southeast Alaska GIS Library is provided by a broad cross-section of academic, non-governmental organizations, state and federal partners. These partners collectively and individually acknowledge the need for geospatial services and applications to the user community.  For the purposes of this document, the geospatial user community (users) consists of geospatial professionals; resource professionals; researchers; educators and students; industry and business; non-governmental organizations; local, tribal, state and federal government; and the public.

In the late 1990’s, several natural resource agencies and interested parties recognized inefficiencies, data gaps and a lack of communication and coordination with respect to geospatial data and GIS applications in Southeast Alaska.  Evaluation, management, and interpretation of Southeast Alaska’s natural resources and lands were being hindered through inefficient data sharing, lack of consistent standardization practices and outdated technology.  Advancements in technology, improved communication between resource professionals and expanding needs resulted in a platform, the Southeast Alaska GIS Library, to promote effective and transparent sharing of geospatial data.

In order to further the efforts initially envisioned for the GIS Library and accommodate for current and future needs in a rapidly evolving technical landscape, members of the Southeast Alaska GIS Library Steering Committee produced this Strategic Plan to serve as a road map for the next four years.  Input from the geospatial user community will be critical to implementation and the overall success and persistence of the Southeast Alaska GIS Library.


The GIS Library fosters collaboration through the centralization of geospatial data distribution, database maintenance, and data services.  Though the GIS Library directly serves partners and users in the region of Southeast Alaska, our partners are active in state, regional and international efforts.  As feasible, the GIS Library will continue to collaborate with state, regional and international partners.  As budgets fluctuate, collaboration among partners is imperative to providing more services with fewer resources.


Geospatial Services

One of the fundamental requirements on which the GIS Library was founded is the sharing of geospatial data among partners and users.   Data sharing has expanded to include geospatial services and applications, such as interactive web maps. 

The services make it easy for users to explore geographic data covering a wide range of subjects.  Sharing datasets between partners boosts a return on investment of publicly funded datasets by providing benefit to users beyond the contributor.  Collaboration increases when data is shared with users who are interested in the same resource which ultimately leads to the improvement of data products.  Lastly, efficiency is gained when costs and benefits of geospatial services are shared among partners instead of individual partners funding and provisioning the same services separately.



Standardization, as it pertains to the GIS Library, defines an operational framework or set of industry conventions used to conduct core activities. Standardization clears technical constraints to collaboration and sets the foundation for achieving consistency within data distribution and services.  The GIS Library strives to achieve standardization across its digital assets and protocols, as well as to promote standardization among its partner and user communities.


Outreach & Education

Outreach and education are comprised of a range of formal activities to increase the awareness, background knowledge and utility of geospatial data products; and a forum to facilitate networking and communication among partners and the geospatial user community. These activities increase the efficiency and success of data access and management via the GIS Library, thereby helping to sustain and institutionalize a more recognizable, transparent and unifying source of data for collective benefit.



Sustainability of the GIS Library and its core services includes the provision of leadership, financial resources, support services, and staffing.  These requirements apply to the partner agencies and the Steering Committee members.  Persistence of the Library ensures that partner investments in Library infrastructure, data contributions, and staff contributions and services are realized.  Benefits of Library sustainability include consistent, regionalized provision of quality geospatial data and support services to partners.


Please contact GIS Library staff with questions or comments on the information above.