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Exemplary Systems in Government Awards

 

ESIG Award History:

Since 1980, URISA's EXEMPLARY SYSTEMS IN GOVERNMENT (ESIG) AWARDS have recognized extraordinary achievements in the use of geospatial information technology that have improved the delivery and quality of government services. The award competition is open to all public agencies at the federal, state/provincial, regional and local levels.

Each year, submissions are invited in two categories:

Enterprise Systems: 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.

Single Process Systems: Systems in this category are outstanding and working examples of applying information system technology to automate a specific SINGLE process or operation involving one department or sub-unit of an agency. The system application results in extended and/or improved government services that are more efficient and/or save money.

If you’ve successfully improved the way in which government operates through the use of geospatial information technology, consider applying for a  URISA ESIG™ Award. The application period typically opens in January and closes in early June of each year. 


2020 URISA ESIG Award Recipients

2020 URISA Exemplary Systems in Government Award Winners Announced

ENTERPRISE SYSTEMS CATEGORY - 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. 

This year there is one exemplary system winner and one distinguished system to be awarded in this category.  The winning system summary included below was taken directly from reviewers' comments.

  • Exemplary System: Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department – Enterprise GIS Portal Implementation
    Submitted by: Danny Thorpe,  Systems Administrator III, Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department, West Palm Beach, Florida
    System Summary: Palm Beach County Water Utilities Department designed and implemented its Enterprise GIS Portal to centrally distribute and manage its infrastructure access, its web applications, access to as-built documents and system administration. In addition, it made the major change from its first-generation GIS to the adoption of new generation, innovative GIS technology that is streamlined, web-based and user-friendly.

    The County needed to move to a better system that was available both online and 24/7 every day of the year, so that real time changes to the water system could be easily viewed by users in both the field and office.  This is quite different to the previous system that did not provide automatic data updates to its many users. However, with the new system they see now real time changes as they occur and these are available without the need for separate data downloads.  Clearly, the new portal is a great leap forward from the previous, older GIS technology – making data more readily available to a wider audience of users. 

    The benefits of having a portable, digital solution are evident in terms of accessibility and streamlining of processes.  The portal eliminates the ‘silo-effect’ and allows any person in the organization to gather data independently, thereby creating a self-sustaining system of autonomy.  The asset savings are also notable, with far less need for desktop/hardware support and the elimination of time-consuming manual synchronization of datasets across the organization.

    The number of different departments that were able to leverage the enterprise portal is exemplary, and even departments that would not usually think spatially to solve a problem  can now often find the answers they need with relative ease. One of the biggest impacts is in the cross referencing of data to identify future problems with water main breaks, and it would seem the portal has transformed the way water utilities will be managed in the future – transforming themselves from 'fire-fighting' to proactive spatial tracking of incidents and historical issues.

    Overall, it is considered to be a well thought-out and enacted system that has had a major impact on many departments.  The ability to directly access real-time data is essential in such an agency and the savings in staff time and effort are also significant.  In summary, this is an excellent example of an enterprise system that is modernizing information delivery, business processes and improving the overall effectiveness of an agency.

  • Distinguished System: Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission – PGAtlas
    Submitted byMichael Shean, GISP, GIS SupervisorMaryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission, Upper Marlboro, Maryland

SINGLE PROCESS SYSTEM CATEGORY - Systems in this category are outstanding and working examples of applying information system technology to automate a specific SINGLE process or operation involving one department or sub-unit of an agency. The system application results in extended and/or improved government services that are more efficient and/or save money.

There is one exemplary system and one distinguished system in this category and, as before, the winning system summary was taken directly from reviewers' comments.

 

    • Exemplary System:  City of Phoenix Street Transportation Department – Interactive Pavement Maintenance Dashboard
      Submitted by:  Curtis Pulford, GIS Coordinator, City of Phoenix – Street Transportation Department, Phoenix, Arizona  
      System SummaryThe City of Phoenix has developed a pavement management application to help design and implement an effective five-year maintenance program that makes best use of the available funds.  The application has also enabled excellent communication between the city and its taxpayers by helping to illustrate how funds are being used to improve the city’s streets.  Additionally, city staff have leveraged the application to streamline their workflows, with the result that the application has helped the City achieve its Accelerated Pavement Maintenance Program by allowing it to triple its annual paving output over previous years. 

      Not only does the process promote citizen engagement, but crowd-sourcing the data has enabled citizens to share their concerns and later see the resulting impacts. Crowd-sourcing has also saved the City significant resources in attempting to gather some of the information itself (such as reporting pavement problems). Additionally, the application operates in both the English and Spanish languages which ensures good accessibility for the Phoenix community.

      The deployment of desktop and mobile versions of the application has helped increase the overall user experience, especially since so many people now access their information via mobile devices. There is a very nice use of images in the GIS story map to make the topic of street maintenance more understandable to the uninitiated, and there is a nice dashboard too that doesn’t need instructions to figure out how to use it.

      The application has changed the way the City interacts with its internal departments by sharing out vital information that used to be difficult to access to allow for better and more efficient planning of new projects – with the result that far less time is spent by staff researching the fundamental information they need for their work. However, its greatest impact is considered to be the way it has changed how the City communicates with the public.

      In summary, this is considered to be an outstanding application.  It has a very focused purpose and has demonstrated significant ROI ranging from the engagement it has fostered through to the internal government efficiency it has created, as well as spreading the awareness of the power and value of GIS throughout the organization.  The application was well thought out and planned, using the right technology and embracing the end-user community and crowd sourcing.  It is a great example of GIS not only leading but also changing how municipal business gets done.


2019 URISA ESIG Award Recipients:

2019 URISA Exemplary Systems in Government Award Winners Announced

ENTERPRISE SYSTEMS CATEGORY - 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. 

This year there are two exemplary system winners and one distinguished system to be awarded in this category.  The system summaries shown below have been taken directly from reviewers' comments.

The 2019 Enterprise System Category Winners are:

"Land Information Management System (LIMS)”Submitted by Nadine Clah GISP, IT Analyst/GIS Coordinator, Navajo Housing Authority, Arizona.

System Summary: This housing project includes a centralized secure GIS, a state-of-art data center, a document management system, a routing system and an asset management system. Also created were management tools, reporting dashboards, field data collection tools and an interactive web portal.  So this once quite modest housing GIS project has subsequently grown in popularity within the NHA to the extent that it now supports the entire Navajo nation administration across three states and 27,000 square miles.  Clearly, it was the use of the LIMS to act as an authoritative source of parcel information that gave them the platform to use it as an all-encompassing land management tool.  Thus the unintended results from the original design were very impressive.  Vacant houses can now be quickly identified, sewerage ponds are no longer built on floodplains, and new homes are not constructed where natural hazards occur.  In turn, the NHA demonstrated to HUD that by leveraging the power of the LIMS, they could more efficiently manage their assets and resources which resulted in the receipt of additional grant funding that paid for the cost of the LIMS.  The efficiencies are truly staggering when you see the physical constraints of the area and that the system they were previously using had not been modernized in over 50 years!

 

NHA LIMS: Housing the Navajo Nation by Building Sustainable Communities from AECOM on Vimeo.

“Streamlining a City-wide Process for Optimal Small Cell Site Locations: A Collaborative Approach".  Submitted by Eva Cancino, GIS Coordinator, City of Naperville, Illinois.

System Summary: This project is an impressive and creative use of technology by the City of Naperville to streamline both data maintenance and workflows in order to manage the deployment of 5G small cell wireless infrastructure within their jurisdiction. It represents an excellent response to a new mandate to provide prompt services to the telecommunications private sector while also minimizing duplicate work.  The implementation is highly exemplary due to the use of agile project management practices in a GIS context, in addition to tight deadlines mandated by legislation, many users, and complex processes.  It was implemented in an unusually rapid timeframe and had many difficult requirements, such as interacting with outside agencies, and a wide range of user skills and needs.  The project represents a highly effective response to a State mandate where city staff were challenged to come up with an effective solution.  The amount of cooperation needed was extreme and this system built trust between all parties.  This project is a great example of how 5G will impact local government and could be a great ‘how to’ example for other jurisdictions to follow.

Distinguished Enterprise System:

“The City of Roswell GIS”. Submitted by Patrick Baber, GIS Manager, City of Roswell, Georgia.

SINGLE PROCESS SYSTEM CATEGORY - Systems in this category are outstanding and working examples of applying information system technology to automate a specific SINGLE process or operation involving one department or sub-unit of an agency. The system application results in extended and/or improved government services that are more efficient and/or save money.

There are two exemplary system winners in this category and, as before, the system summaries are taken directly from the reviewers comments.

The 2019 Single Process System Category Winners are:

“The City of San Antonio Solid Waste Management Department Service District and Route Optimization System”.  Submitted by Chelsie McNicol and Team, City of San Antonio, Texas.

System Summary: This route optimization process considers more than just the usual mileage and equipment costs associated with waste collection, and includes factors such as personnel, disposal costs, tonnage, and household distributions to help refine their waste collection service.  Thus, it represents a more holistic, data-driven approach to creating efficiencies in the three waste streams of garbage, recycling and organics.  As a result, enabling this type of data-driven analysis has created better collection routing.  The process had a clear objective and has delivered significant ROI with projected savings of $1 million (decreased fuel, decreased overtime and lower equipment costs) and better service to the general public.  User feedback has been incorporated into the design and automation of data mining and reporting is faster and more accurate.  In summary the system was well-planned and executed, and provides great cost savings.

20190924_SanAntonioSWMD_FINALCUT01 from ClemMotion on Vimeo.

“Carriage Alerts Mapping Platform (CAMP): Real-Time GIS to Manage Tours & Equine Waste”Submitted by Emma Paz, GIS Developer, City of Charleston, South Carolina.

System Summary: This system provides a streamlined approach for resolving a unique public sanitary issue which impacts upon public, environmental and general visibility perceptions in the City of Charleston.  To go from a paper-based system with flag markers, to a completely digital and GPS-based system has greatly improved the efficiency and accuracy of spill cleanup.  The design of this system is a good example of numerous GIS best practices, combining several technologies (such as GeoEvent, mobile data collection and heat mapping) to create a focused workflow, and the overall project delivery was done in a very efficient manner. This design and implementation team really thought out of the box for how to solve this issue.  The reduction of complaints, as a result of quicker clean-up of spills, permits city staff to give greater attention to other matters and other ordinance enforcement.  The improvement to workflows, public health and safety, efficiency, and use of internal staff are all indicative of exemplary practice when evaluating the success of a project, and this application hits them all.

Riding into Modern Times from Emma Paz on Vimeo.

 


2018 URISA ESIG Award Recipients:

ENTERPRISE SYSTEMS CATEGORY - 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. 

This year, there was one exemplary and two distinguished system awards in this category:

Exemplary System: The Assessor Portal
Submitted by:   Los Angeles County Office of the Assessor, Los Angeles, California

Distinguished System: Growth Management and Development Dashboard
Submitted by:  Carolynne Saxton, GIS Coordinator, Town of East Gwillimbury, Sharon, Ontario Canada

Distinguished System: Mobile/Desktop Data Collection Initiative
Submitted by:  Brian Arnold, GIS Coordinator, City of Dayton, Department of Water, Dayton, Ohio

SINGLE PROCESS SYSTEM CATEGORY - Systems in this category are outstanding and working examples of applying information system technology to automate a specific SINGLE process or operation involving one department or sub-unit of an agency. The system application results in extended and/or improved government services that are more efficient and/or save money.

There was one exemplary and two distinguished system awards in this category:

Exemplary System: Cook County Medical Examiner Maps and Data Portal 
Submitted by:  Joel Inwood, Public Information Officer, Cook County Bureau of Technology, Chicago, Illinois

Distinguished System: Landmark at Risk: Protecting the Historic Seaport of Annapolis, Maryland Story Map
Submitted by:  Shawn Wampler, GISP, GIS Coordinator, City of Annapolis, Maryland

Distinguished System:  NKYdroneLAB
Submitted by: Trisha W. Brush, GISP, Director of GIS Services, Kenton and Campbell Counties of Kentucky, Fort Mitchell, Kentucky


2017 ESIG Award Recipients:

ENTERPRISE SYSTEMS CATEGORY - 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. 

This year, there are two exemplary and one distinguished system awards in this category:

Exemplary System:  IndyVitals 
Submitted by: Sharon Kandris, Associate Director, The Polis Center at IUPUI, Indianapolis, Indiana

Exemplary System: Racine County Land Records Management
Submitted by: Tyson Fettes, Register of Deeds, Racine County, Wisconsin

Distinguished System: Maintenance IQ
Submitted by: Shawn Crane, Section Chief, Maintenance Systems and Reporting, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

SINGLE PROCESS SYSTEM CATEGORY - Systems in this category are outstanding and working examples of applying information system technology to automate a specific SINGLE process or operation involving one department or sub-unit of an agency. The system application results in extended and/or improved government services that are more efficient and/or save money.

There is one exemplary and two distinguished system awards in this category:

Exemplary System: GIS in the Emergency Operations Center (EOC)
Submitted by: Langdon Sanders, GIS Analyst II, Information Technology, City of Sandy Springs Public Works, Sandy Springs, Georgia

Distinguished System: City of New Bern NC - Finding New Homes for Abandoned Properties 
Submitted by: Alice C. Wilson, AICP, GISP, GIS Coordinator, City of New Bern,  North Carolina

Distinguished System: Geographic Information Gateway (Gateway)
Submitted by: Jeffrey L. Herter, Gateway Project Manager, New York Department of State, Albany, New York


2016 ESIG Award Recipients:

ENTERPRISE SYSTEMS CATEGORY - 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.

Exemplary System: Think Outside the Map
Submitted by: John Nerge, GISP, GIS Coordinator, City of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

 

Distinguished SystemNorth Carolina Parcels, Integrated Cadastral Data Exchange
Submitted by: 
Thomas W. Morgan, PLS, Land Records Manager, NC Department of the Secretary of State , Raleigh, North Carolina
Jeffrey P. Brown, GISP, Coordination Program Manager, NC Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, Raleigh, North Carolina

SINGLE PROCESS SYSTEM CATEGORY - Systems in this category are outstanding and working examples of applying information system technology to automate a specific SINGLE process or operation involving one department or sub-unit of an agency. The system application results in extended and/or improved government services that are more efficient and/or save money.

Exemplary System: City of Hamilton’s Spatially Indexed Engineering Records System (SPIDER)
Submitted by: 
Gord McGuire, Manager of Geomatics & Corridor Management, City of Hamilton Public Works, Hamilton, Ontario Canada 
Charlie Lauricella, Senior Project Manager, City of Hamilton Public Works, Hamilton, Ontario Canada

View Hamilton's User Video

Distinguished System: Pitkin Maps & More
Submitted by: Mary Lackner, GISP, GIS Lead, Pitkin County, Aspen, Colorado


2015 ESIG Award Recipients:

ENTERPRISE SYSTEMS CATEGORY - 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.

Exemplary System: Boldly Know: York Region’s Enterprise GIS
Submitted by: John Houweling, Director, Geographic Information Services Branch, Corporate Services Department of the Regional Municipality of York, Ontario Canada

Celebrate York's ESIG Award:

 

Distinguished Systems:

SINGLE PROCESS SYSTEM CATEGORY - Systems in this category are outstanding and working examples of applying information system technology to automate a specific SINGLE process or operation involving one department or sub-unit of an agency. The system application results in extended and/or improved government services that are more efficient and/or save money.

Exemplary System: Next Generation Permitting System
Submitted by: Dennis Hanberg, Planning and Land Services Director, Pierce County, Tacoma, Washington

Distinguished Systems:


2014 ESIG Award Recipients:

ENTERPRISE SYSTEMS CATEGORY - 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.

Exemplary System: NH Mosaic Parcel Map (State of New Hampshire)
Stephan Hamilton, Director, NH Dept. of Revenue Administration, David Salzer, Director of Projects, Technology Transfer Center, University of New Hampshire, Patrick Santoso, Director of Operations, Technology Transfer Center,  University of New Hampshire


Distinguished Systems:

SINGLE PROCESS SYSTEM CATEGORY - Systems in this category are outstanding and working examples of applying information system technology to automate a specific SINGLE process or operation involving one department or sub-unit of an agency. The system application results in extended and/or improved government services that are more efficient and/or save money.

Exemplary System: NCHHSTP Atlas – The National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention        
Kim Elmore, NCHHSTP Atlas co-lead, NCHHSTP/DHAP, Atlanta, GA

Distinguished Systems:

  • MapGeo - Nashua Regional Planning Commission
    Sara Siskavick, GISP, GIS Manager, Nashua Regional Planning Commission, Merrimack, NH
  • Sidewalk Maintenance and Repair Tracking Application  - City of Perrysburg, OH
    Ian Dunn, Software Specialist, Perrysburg, OH
  • Richmond's Data Extraction Tool - Richmond, BC
    Wilfred Batke, Mapping Technologist, City of Richmond, British Columbia
  • ZoneSJ Map Viewer - City of Saint John, NB
    Yves Léger, M.Sc, GISP, GIS Manager, City of Saint John, New Brunswick
  • CropScape - United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service
    Zhengwei Yang, Ph.D, IT Specialist, USDA-NASS, Fairfax, VA, Weiguo Han, Ph.D, Research Assistant Professor, Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

URISA ESIG Award Testimonials

The following are testimonials from past Exemplary Systems in Government (ESIG) Award winners.

"I believe the award has done two things for me professionally.  The first relates to leadership.  The award was a source of pride for my team and reinforced the team’s belief in my ability to pull all the pieces together to develop a product worthy of national recognition and their ability to be successful in their roles.  The second relates to credibility.  Many of the District’s senior leaders have little experience in GIS.  However, many of these leaders are familiar with URISA.  Receiving this award has reinforced their decision to entrust me with this large, complex project and has demonstrated that I can deliver despite the statistics related to failed and overly expensive IT projects.

- Don Nehmer, Capital Program Business Manager, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, WI - SewerView, 2009 ESIG Enterprise Systems Category - Distinguished System


“It was an honor to receive the ESIG award  from URISA this past year. By participating in the ESIG award process we were able to exercise another reason to evaluate our system, by doing so we were able to find ways to improve our current system. We also received local media exposure because of the ESIG award, this helped us inform the Forsyth County public of how we were applying GIS for public safety in their county. This award also validated all of the hard work and development that went into this system, this helped the GIS department fortify a trust with the Forsyth County Administration.”

- John Kilgore, GISP, GIS Director, Forsyth County, GA - GIS Mobile Emergency Response System (ERS), 2009 ESIG Single Process System Winner


"By participating in the ESIG process we are able to demonstrate how GIS technology benefits the whole organization in a very broad scope. Winning the award also greatly increased  “GIS awareness” in the organization. The project eventually received an internal “City Manager Award”, boosting the importance of GIS in the organization’s technology environment."

- Nianwei Liu, GISP, Senior System Analyst, City of Charlotte, NC - Virtual Charlotte, 2009 ESIG Enterprise Systems Category Winner


"One of the most rewarding aspects of participating in the ESIG Awards process was the rare opportunity to formally acknowledge the outstanding efforts of our staff and regional partner agencies for their collaborative work. Recognition of their achievements by URISA's respected community of GIS professionals and peers has provided quite a charge."

- Eric Brandt, GISP, GIS Program Manager, Lane Council of Governments, OR - Regional Land Information Database (RLID), 2009 ESIG Enterprise Systems Category - Distinguished System


"As a relatively small department in a large city government, the Department of Records was particularly proud of having PhillyHistory.org selected as a Distinguished System in the ESIG competition. The award helps to validate the hard work that has been put into development of the system, which has proven to be a great asset both for the department and for the general public who have been enthusiastic in their use of the application. Given tightening city budgets, particularly in relation to programs that do not address vital city services, recognition such as this helps to make the case in support of our efforts."

- Joan Decker & Megan Heckert, City of Philadelphia, PA - PhillyHistory.org, 2007 ESIG Single Process Category - Distinguished System Winner


"Winning the ESIG award is an exciting and very significant achievement for the entire REGIS Agency: the Board of Directors; member jurisdictions; staff; and stakeholders at large. This recognition further validates our mission of sharing services across the jurisdictional boundaries and not just organizational boundaries. The REGIS consortium works together under one umbrella, providing services and saving the communities’ money by pooling resources for hardware, software, personnel, etc. It also allows an interconnectivity not seen in other consortiums, thus promoting regional collaboration and planning.

We sincerely hope that through this recognition, we will be able to effectively share the REGIS model of collaboration and sharing with other similar jurisdictions throughout the nation. This recognition will help us in expanding membership to public and private sector agencies in the region. This award from URISA, a premier international association of GIS professionals, also proves a convincing use of tax dollars invested in REGIS Agency to our citizens, elected officials and law makers."

- Dharmesh Jain, Regional GIS Director, REGIS Agency, GVMC, Grand Rapids, MI - REGIS: REgional Geographic Information System - 2007 ESIG Enterprise Systems Category Winner 


"At the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, we have a major objective in mind, that is, to provide our customers with a World-Class level of service. We have received many complements regarding our GIS system from internal (Authority staff) and external (consultants) users of the system in the past, but we needed to know how we are doing compared to other remarkable GIS applications implemented by other agencies. Winning the distinguished Award of the ESIG 2007 has emphasized that we are on the right track. It proved the hard work and cooperative efforts of our staff, and it also showed that the Authority is committed to providing high-quality work for San Diego."

- Ataa A. Aly, P.E. , Project Engineer, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority - 2007 ESIG Enterprise Systems Category -Distinguished System Winner


"Winning the ESIG Single Process Award and being recognized on an international level was a tremendous achievement for Prince William County. It represents the hard work and accomplishments that our entire division achieved in the 18 month conversion process. It symbolizes the teamwork that went into the project and dedication of bringing a fifteen year old workflow into the most current technology and all the change that comes with it. The ESIG application process and award gave our customers a chance to see that GIS is not just about making pretty maps but that it is a powerful tool that can be used daily by our public administrators and citizens to make decisions and that there are endless possibilities of integrating it more in our future business processes."

- Angela Mills, GISP, Prince William County GIS - 2007 ESIG Single Process Category Winner

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