URISA’s ESIG Awards recognize exceptional achievements in the application of information technology that have improved the delivery and quality of government services. URISA is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s ESIG Awards.
URISA congratulates all of the participants in the 2012 Exemplary Systems in Government Award program! The recognized systems will be celebrated during the Awards Breakfast at GIS-Pro 2012: URISA's 50th Annual Conference in Portland.
This year's competition resulted in two exemplary systems in the Enterprise Systems category and one distinguished system. No systems were recognized in the Single Process Systems category this year.
Systems in this category are outstanding and working examples of using information systems technology in a multi-department environment as part of an integrated process. These systems exemplify effective use of technology yielding widespread improvements in the process(es) and/or service(s) involved and/or cost savings to the organization.
Centered on Orlando, Orange County faces unique challenges as the world’s number one tourist destination. Besides serving a population of just over a million, it also provides services for over 52 million annual visitors. This massive influx and the growth rate that goes with it severely challenges Orange County’s ability to keep up. Facing this challenge, several years ago Orange County leaders decided to modernize how it managed growth. That led to the Aladin program which links business process automation, document management, advanced reporting, and GIS together in a comprehensive growth management solution for Orange County.
From the start, Aladin aimed at improving how Orange County managed the development life cycle from applications through to permitting. However, improving business processes was only half of the answer. Orange County also saw a need to provide better support for management and line staff decision making. Therefore, and this is a key reason why this system is exemplary, Aladin also included GIS in a big way. GIS plays two important roles in Aladin. The first and most important is as an enabler of efficient and effective business processes. As an early adopter of GIS, Orange County has long recognized that visually enabling business information increased its value. Therefore, a key goal of Aladin was to embed GIS capabilities within the business processes themselves, thereby providing staff with a visual context for their work and a better basis for everyday decisions.
Aladin accomplishes this in a variety of ways. For instance, the Aladin Central Addressing System (CAS) includes GIS functions and visual GIS information within the addressing workflows themselves. And CAS is not aimed at GIS staff. At Orange County, it is the Zoning Division staff that use the CAS’s GIS based business workflows to create and manage addresses. Another example of this GIS role is in Aladin’s Land Development Management System (LDMS). The LDMS is the workflow engine that drives all of the county land development processes. It also includes GIS functionality within and in support of its workflows. In particular, every transaction is linked to GIS by permitting or planning staff as they occur. In addition, GIS functions are used to generate a wide variety of information that populates various forms and data fields required during those transactions.
Of course, once GIS is tied to business processes, resulting data becomes more accessible and useful to a wider variety of users. That leads to the second role for GIS which is support for decision making and analysis using the central GIS repository (CSDR). The CSDR is Orange County’s source for accurate, current and complete information in a wide variety of categories to support operations and analysis. This GIS ‘data warehouse’ uses advanced and automated extract, transform and load (ETL) functionality to load business data from a variety of business systems into a centralized repository. Subsequently that data is made available to all county staff to support daily operations and to all other Aladin systems.
However, enabling better transactions and better decisions is only part of the picture. Lots of information needed for decision making originates from old county records. Therefore Aladin also integrates a Document Management System (DM). Currently holding over 12 million documents, the Aladin DM system not only holds County historic documentation, it is also archiving all of the documents currently being generated by Aladin. Those documents in turn will help form the basis for future decision making.
In summary, Aladin qualifies as an exemplary system because it combines GIS with business automation and records management to help Orange County improve citizen services. At the same time, it is helping Orange County make better decisions using the strength and power of GIS.
This solution was deemed exemplary by the ESIG Review Committee because it not only integrates GIS into addressing, zoning, document management and land development systems, but it also integrates GIS into the daily workflows of management and front-line staff to facilitate decision-making.
Aladin further exemplifies success in the way it enables Orange County, the world’s number one tourist destination, to not only support its permanent population of one million, but it also allows the County to meet the annual demands and expectations presented by 52 million tourists. Orange County, like many government agencies over the past years, has had to deal with annual budget cuts and staffing reductions. Aladin, because of the efficiencies built into its workflows, enables County staff to continue to deliver the same level of customer service with fewer resources. Projects like Aladin, and Orange County’s vision to pursue integrated enterprise GIS systems, exemplify excellence in GIS. The Aladin system developed by Orange County is a strong example of successful GIS integration and a model for URISA to share.
PSMA Systems, spatial infrastructure technology founded on services orientated architecture (SOA) and world-leading technologies, has significantly improved and streamlined the mechanism for collection, assembly and delivery of fundamental geospatial information for Australia.
The PSMA Systems has been effective in reducing delivery times, improving data quality, providing greater flexibility in access to Australia’s authoritative datasets and providing a framework that promotes the extraction of the value inherent in these datasets.
PSMA Australia—a company wholly owned by Australia’s federal, six state and two territory governments and responsible for partnerships with industry—has developed PSMA Systems to provide a powerful and flexible automated information management environment.
The achievements of the PSMA Systems project include:
It is well understood that geospatial information embodies a revolutionary element that is capable of promoting innovation, generating opportunities as well as sparking new insights and approaches to issues. All of which are critically important in challenging economic times and for dealing with competitive environments.
PSMA Australia’s pragmatic program to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of PSMA Australia’s end-to-end supply chain process for producing continental geospatial datasets has crafted an enabling platform that substantially reduces the barriers facing governments in their adoption of location thinking. This spatial data infrastructure – PSMA Systems – can be simply, quickly and cost-effectively implemented and deployed within government and other enterprises. It enables authoritative location information to be introduced into the decision-making process so that the non-GIS specialist can answer their own question without having to wait on someone to do this for them.
Through PSMA Systems, data and services can move in any direction within the supply chain with equal ease. This enables the provision of user feedback to data contributors and the ability to consider data capture through innovative means such as crowd-sourcing. Web services required by multiple stakeholders can be easily and reliably shared which substantially reduces the cost of development and hosting. Furthermore, this capability promotes consistency and delivers a core-business benefit to government data contributors.
This solution was deemed exemplary by the ESIG Review Committee because it involves the engagement, collaboration and partnership between all government in Australia, including federal, six state and two territorial governments, in the delivery of a single system for the creating and facilitating access to national datasets for government, industry and community use.
The provision of GIS data by the PSMA system isn’t just a cool GIS project, it actually has a significant impact on the country as a whole as it contributes to a variety of economic, social and environmental benefits. The PSMA system was developed with the intention of being a world-class system that enables the collection, standardization, integration, manipulation and delivery of GIS data in an automated fashion. The example of inter-government collaboration and the scale in which PSMA operates and because the PSMA system has revolutionized the manner in which data is gathered, integrated and disseminated make it an exemplary system.
Will County Master Address Point System
Submitted by Tong Zhou, Director - GIS Department, County of Will, Joliet, Illinois
Many departments and agencies in Will County use addresses in their daily services to the general public. Those services include dispatching 911 emergency calls, providing timely disaster assistance, tracking diseases, validating voter registrations, deciding land use and zoning cases, fighting crimes, etc. Over the years, some departments built up their own address databases through their interactions with the residents using various paper application forms, commercial sources, sources from municipalities, and through administration of the county’s addressing authority for the unincorporated areas. County functions were handled by many different departments and were connected by very different mechanisms. The respective address databases were previously scattered around various departments and were in different file formats and database structures. Some were only available on paper and not electronically. Many had not been checked for accuracy so they were not reliable, or included errors that had accumulated over the years. These databases were unable to be linked to each other due to the lack of common formats. Most importantly, none of them had an one-to-one spatial relationship between an address and the property of that address. Since so many critical functions of county government require precise address and location information, the need to have an accurate and point‐based single address system, capable of pinpointing exact locations, was greater than ever.
In the summer of 2007, after almost a decade of discussions on the need, the project of building a Will County Master Address Point System was made a top priority by the new county administration. This new effort was launched following the reorganization of the County’s GIS department and the hiring of a GIS director independent of the ICT department in early 2007. After a series of stakeholder meetings involving multiple departments, a project plan was established and a pilot program to test the procedure was begun. In the summer of 2008, the project was formally launched after additional improvements were made to the procedure and agreed upon by key players. By early 2012, the Will County Master Address System that contains almost 400,000 address points was built and put into use.
The Will County Master Address Point System is now the foundation for address databases and location information in use by all county departments and agencies. Stakeholders use this system for cross‐referencing addresses, or system integrations requiring address information and location intelligence. It has greatly improved accuracy and reduced the staff time needed to answer calls regarding addressing errors. The point‐based feature makes pinpointing locations possible and shortens the response time of emergency crews. Since this address point system was built for use county‐wide, it makes the integration of the system into other county systems easier. It has improved the efficiency and effectiveness of the County’s delivery of public services in a number of ways.
Next year's Exemplary Systems in Government Awards application will be available in January with submission typically due in May.