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TitleGeoConnections geospatial return on investment case study: Cree GeoPortal
LicencePlease note the adoption of the Open Government Licence - Canada supersedes any previous licences.
AuthorStewart, M A
SourceCanadian Geospatial Data Infrastructure, Information Product 17, 2011, 24 pages, Open Access logo Open Access
PublisherNatural Resources Canada
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf
NTS32; 33; 34A; 34B; 22L; 22M; 22N; 23C; 23D; 23E; 23F; 23K; 23L; 23M; 23N; 24D
Lat/Long WENS -79.5000 -68.0000 57.0000 48.0000
Subjectsgeographic information system
Released2011 01 01
AbstractIn late 2009 GeoConnections commissioned a Geospatial Return on Investment Case Study to add to the body of knowledge of case studies based on the GITA ROI methodology for financial analysis of geospatial projects. This study focuses on the Cree GeoPortal, developed by the Cree Outfitting and Tourism Association (COTA) and the Cree Trappers' Association (CTA). This study presents a unique opportunity to reflect on the impact of mapping technology, which served as the basis for Cree treaty negotiations and settlements over the past 30 to 40 years.
Phase 1 of the project provided a user-friendly online portal and application to deliver geospatial information to Cree communities in support of research, discussion, planning and decision making related to resource management and tourism development. Phase 2 of the project expanded the community of users, expanded the geospatial data available and developed new tools and applications for land and resources management. The project developed tools for management of trails and tourism packages for COTA and tourism users, refined the trap line mapping application for CTA, improved the existing projects database and developed an online applications system for project funding for Niskamoon Corporation, and developed tools necessary for management of Park resources and transfer of knowledge for Mistissini Albanel-Temiscamie-Otish (ATO) Park.
Having four distinct partners for the Cree GeoPortal presented the opportunity for a multiparticipant ROI analysis. An analysis was done for each partner, with the results rolled up into the overall project. Incorporating all participants of the Cree GeoPortal, Net Present Value (benefits minus costs in 2006 dollars) is $2.225M, with annualized Return on Investment (ratio of Net Present Value to cumulative costs) of 11%. Breakeven point will be reached in 2013, seven years into the project.
Analysis of each partner provides greatest insight into the tangible benefits of the overall project. For Cree Trappers' Association (CTA) the greatest tangible benefit is savings in redundant data entry for harvest reports. Considerable benefits were also found from reduced training requirements for Local Fur Officers due to improved data entry methodology. For Cree Outfitting and Tourism Association (COTA) the greatest tangible benefit is time savings for nine tourism officers, nine economic development officers, and four COTA staff members. Other significant benefits include savings on consulting fees for developing theme routes. For Mistissini Park the greatest tangible benefit is time savings for as many as 17 park officers. This analysis is noteworthy in demonstrating that savings by use of the GeoPortal will be sufficient to support a full-time GIS technician beginning in 2013. For Niskamoon Corporation the greatest tangible benefit is time savings for nine local coordinators and two regional coordinators.
Analysis was also done for the Offshore Islands Project involving new land that will be managed by CTA, with benefits similar to the CTA module. Alternate scenarios were analyzed for hosting by a Cree organization versus outsourced hosting, with a finding of $180,000 in additional costs over nine years to bring hosting in-house.
Strategic benefits include property rights mapping, value to education, enhanced communication between youth and elders, and community building.

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