Key Success Factors Include a Strong Vision, Robust Technology & User Feedback
VANCOUVER – November 6, 2012 – At the Esri Canada User Conference in Vancouver today, the City of Surrey shared some tips for creating successful mapping applications after receiving an Award of Excellence for their outstanding use of geographic information system (GIS) technology. The City has created numerous mapping applications that improve municipal operations and deliver significant benefits to the community. One of these is the City of Surrey's Mapping Online System (COSMOS), a Web application that allows municipal staff and the public to access more than 150 datasets of land-related information. The popular site receives more than 20,000 visitors a month and has been optimized for mobile devices.
“It's important to have a clear vision of how you'd like to use GIS and mapping to support your processes,” said Sean Simpson, GIS Manager, City of Surrey. “Developing internal geomatics expertise and having an enterprise system that enables all the City's data to be centrally stored and managed are also valuable. Most importantly, citizen feedback helps us move forward in providing greater access to information with the tools they like to use.”
“The City of Surrey's enterprise approach to GIS has allowed them to develop many useful applications that have supported the City's rapid growth,” said Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada. “From improving land-use planning and development to enhancing recreation, they've established a framework for increasing efficiencies and improving communication with citizens.”
COSMOS is powered by ArcGIS, Esri's enterprise GIS technology that is used to gather, store, manage and publish the City's geographic data, maps and applications. The City recently unveiled an enhanced version of COSMOS that runs 10 times faster than the previous version and integrates video tutorials and applications for infrastructure and property-related information. They have also introduced MyCOSMOS, a new functionality that personalizes the user experience by pulling up layers, location and text markup from the user's last visit to the site.
The City conducted focus groups with various users including real estate developers, homeowners, utilities and researchers to determine which data and features to add to COSMOS. They also worked with graphic designers to ensure that the new site is easy to use and that visitors can find information they need with the least number of clicks. With an increasing number of visitors accessing the site through tablets and smartphones, Surrey recently launched a mobile version of COSMOS. This fall, the City will also host a version of the application for the City of White Rock to help them gain similar efficiencies in sharing information with their constituents.
In addition, Surrey is integrating its ArcGIS system with Cityworks' asset management solution to more effectively and timely respond to service requests. The City has also developed a common operational picture application for its fire department that will provide real-time situational awareness during emergencies.
About the City of Surrey
Surrey is the second largest city in British Columbia with a population of more than 462,000. It is also one of the fastest growing cities in Canada and is expected to surpass Vancouver's population by 2020. Surrey is strategically located at the crossroads of the Pacific Rim, Greater Vancouver and the United States. It is a vibrant city with a growing business sector. Approximately 1/3 of Surrey is designated agricultural land and is still actively farmed today. Known as the City of Parks, Surrey has over 6,000 acres of parks and green spaces sprinkled throughout a growing metropolis and offers various recreational opportunities. For more information, visit: surrey.ca.
About Esri Canada
Founded in 1984, Esri Canada provides enterprise geographic information system (GIS) solutions that empower businesses, governments and educational institutions to make timely, informed and mission-critical decisions by leveraging the power of geography. The company distributes the world's leading GIS software from Esri, Telvent, Cityworks – Azteca Systems and other technology partners. Headquartered in Toronto, the company serves over 10,000 customers from 16 regional offices across Canada and has been named as one of the Top 250 Canadian IT Companies and Top 25 IT Professional Services Providers in Canada by the Branham Group, as well as one of Computer Dealer News' Top 100 IT Solution Providers in Canada. Information about Esri Canada can be found at esri.ca.
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