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California CIO Issues Policy to Boost Geographic Mapping Resources for California Government

State Technology Update – December 15, 2010

OCIO Issues Policy to Boost Geographic Mapping Resources for California Government

The Office of the State Chief Information Officer (OCIO) today issued a policy requiring all executive branch agencies to geocode databases or applications related to providing social services, law enforcement, economic development, tax collection and emergency response. The new policy simply requires that, where an address exists, latitude and longitude coordinates are to be included as geographic data so they can be compared and analyzed to develop new information sources for state programs.  The requirement is outlined in Information Technology Policy Letter (ITPL) 10-15<> released by the OCIO today to provide guidelines for agencies to follow various Enterprise Architecture standards and processes.

“By comparing new sets of geographic data, agencies will be able to discover new patterns of activity to help solve problems across the state.  For example, by comparing the frequency and location of illnesses to toxic waste sites, maps can be developed to better understand any correlations,” said Christy Quinlan, Acting State Chief Information Officer.  “The state has a tremendous amount of data that can be leveraged to improve our understanding of what is happening in cities and neighborhoods throughout California.”

The policy applies to new databases and IT projects approved after July 1, 2010 and to existing systems as they are updated over time.  Many departments are already implementing geocoding features in new and existing applications as California has a number of active Geospatial Information Systems.  California is among the first in the nation to require geocoding for IT projects that contain address information.

Information Technology Policy Letter (ITPL) 10-15 also outlines requirements and process to assist agencies with their efforts to standardizing software, security and other IT consolidation-related activities.  Additional details regarding the standards and practices released today can be found in Sections 58D and 158 in the Statewide Information Management Manual at

When the OCIO was established in January 2008, it was the intent of the Legislature and Governor to create an agency that, among other things, establishes policies and standards to ensure that state information technology systems run effectively. Through changes to the State Administrative Manual and the Statewide Information Management Manual, the OCIO creates statewide policy for the executive branch to ensure coordination as the agency works to oversee IT activities with a common direction and vision.

Please note that effective January 1, 2011, the Office of the State Chief Information Officer is renamed the California Technology Agency.

For more information or to read the entire policy letter, please visit the OCIO website at

Contact:  Bill Maile (916) 549-2845

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