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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 3, 2001

Illinois Ranks First in the Nation in Education Technology

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced that, in the use of technology, Illinois tied for first in the nation in Education and second in the nation in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)/Transportation. The rankings are based on the fourth round of an extensive study by the Center for Digital Government released today.

“Since the creation of the Illinois Technology Office in February 1999, my administration has been committed to pushing technology to the forefront in all areas of government,” said Governor Ryan. “Education has always been a priority for my administration and technology has become an integral part in the way in which our children learn.”

Included in the education portion of the study were assessments in areas such as the ability of university students to access services online such as distance learning courses. One of the areas sited in the survey was the Illinois Online Learning Portal and its wealth of information regarding online learning opportunities for citizens.

The second portion of the rankings addressed the use of Geographic Information Systems and the use of technology in transportation.

“Illinois is using technology to provide opportunities in new and innovative ways,” Governor Ryan said. “Using GIS and intelligent transportation technology, Illinois has increased public safety and access for citizens across the state.“

Sited in the report was the Illinois Natural Resources Geospatial Data Clearinghouse, which is one of the nation’s most extensive warehouses of data on geology, water resources, nature preserves, wildlife areas, land use, roads, census information, Public Land Survey and more. This comprehensive online resource is providing important decision-making information to all areas of government.

“Governor Ryan has stressed the importance of technology and our state agencies have been diligent in their e-government deployment. Illinois has employed some extremely innovative technology, making government services much more customer friendly,” said Mary Reynolds, Chief Technology Officer. “Through the integration of GIS technology, we are able to link geographic references with data and enhance the ability to build a more complete “picture” through overlay capabilities. We hold the rankings of the Center for Digital Government in high regard and consider this recognition a great honor.”

Each year the Center for Digital Government completes a comprehensive study of technology services in all 50 States. In this year’s analysis, Illinois was in the top ten in the nation in six of the eight categories evaluated including, Law Enforcement and the Courts (1st), Electronic Commerce and Business Regulation (3rd), Taxation and Revenue (3rd), Management and Administration (7th), Digital Democracy (15th), Social Services (11th), Education (1st) and GIS and Transportation (2nd).

The Center for Digital Government will release the overall state rankings in January 2002. Last year Illinois ranked fourth in the nation and was the most improved “Digital State” leaping up from 49th in 1998.

“We are pleased to accept the latest recognition and look forward to the release of the overall rankings in January,” said Governor Ryan.



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