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RGIS: National Consortium For Rural Geospatial Innovations in America

Also know as the RGIS (Rural Geospatial Innovations in America) this project is a collaboration between eight institutions across America. The funding for this project supplements several other of the LAL’s efforts. This year we did receive special funding to investigate new community planning software such as Community Viz.

Funding Agency: University of Wisconsin, United States Department of Agriculture

About the Initiative

The National Consortium for Rural Geospatial Innovations (RGIS) assists state, tribal, regional and local governments, and non- and for-profit organizations in implementing advanced geospatial information technologies. The goal is to improve the quality of life, environmental health, and economic competitiveness of rural communities. Just as the Rural Electrification Authority brought electricity to much of under-served rural America in the early 20th century, RGIS' goal is to bring geospatial technologies and the benefits of the information age to rural America, where land is fundamental to resource-dependent economies and ways of life. Today, local units of government are building key components of the information-technology infrastructure, much as the infrastructure for electrification was built by local electric cooperatives. RGIS' role is similar to organizations such as Cooperative Extension and Underwriters Laboratories, which helped rural America understand how to use electricity effectively and safely. RGIS can help those in rural areas to implement and apply geospatial technologies to the many land use, resource protection, and economic development decisions involved in creating sustainable rural communities.