|Abstract||This study is one in a series of geospatial Return on Investment (ROI) case studies based on the GITA ROI methodology. It focuses on Hectares BC, a web-accessible geospatial analytical tool developed as
a collaborative project by federal and provincial government agencies and non-government organizations. GeoConnections provided $150,000 in funding for the project, matched by $100,000 in cash contributions from the Province of BC, Fisheries and
Oceans Canada, and Parks Canada. An additional $70,000 of in-kind contributions were made by these agencies and the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Development took place in 2007 and 2008.|
Hectares BC was a pilot project to develop a system for
geospatial data analysis in the natural resource sector. The system grants anyone with web access the ability to view, download or analyze large volumes of data with a query tool. The system enables both technically sophisticated geospatial analysts
and those with limited understanding or access to geospatial data and tools to complete timely, transparent, repeatable modeling and analysis using centrally held data. The tool can save time acquiring and disseminating datasets, completing analysis
and developing geospatial models and thematic maps, while enabling collaboration.
This study includes benefits to provincial government agencies at the Integrated Land Management Bureau (GeoBC), Ministry of Environment, and Ministry of Forests and
Range, and to a Federal agency, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. This report references staff assignments at the start of the case study prior to a restructuring of the provincial government.
Cumulative costs for this ten-year project are
$903,767. Cumulative benefits are $10,680,851. Net Present Value is $9,777,084 with an annualized ROI of 108%. Payback period is three years with breakeven point in 2010. The greatest benefit is increased productivity to Ministry of Forests staff,
followed by reduction in costs to acquire data for environmental assessments.
Analysis for Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) was performed separately. Net Present Value to NGOs is $14.5M, with a two-year payback period. The greatest benefit is
increased value to conservation from land purchased, followed by increased scientific credibility leading to greater funding levels. Annualized ROI values are disproportionately high, a result of leveraging a project primarily supported by the
province, and are not used for this analysis.
Analysis for First Nations was also performed separately. Net Present Value is $100,589 with a 54% ROI for use of current applications. The greatest benefit is the potential for Hectares BC to assist
in the development of resource management planning information, leading to avoidance of the environmental referral process. The study determined that adding enhancements and expanding use to include 30 First Nations would result in a Net Present
Value of $4.1M.
Conclusions: The Hectares BC study shows strong benefits due to a broad user base. There is significant potential for further benefits if use was expanded to transform the current business processes associated with resource
development allocation, environmental assessment and First Nation referral. Expanding use to other sectors such as health and social sciences also warrants investigation. A modest level of applications enhancement and growth of the user base could
yield dramatic increases in ROI, as demonstrated in alternate scenarios of this analysis.