GeoWorld August 2012

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extensive. Accurate GIS data meshed with nonspa- tial data has allowed staff to do their jobs much more efficiently." The Fire Department needed mobile computing and a common operational picture (COP) to view all its incidents and vehicles. It chose the "best of breed" by implementing the technology that won the 2011 Esri International Mobile Application Award. Fire Department vehicles were outfitted with the auto- mated vehicle location (AVL)-enabled application, and the department now can visualize all of its assets, providing better response times. Each fire station has the COP program available via a central location to see where assets are at all times. "The Fire Department staff needed mobile technology, and needed it to be up and running all of the time," notes Lyons. "They had tested various options over the years and had not been able to find something that met their needs. The new toolset is perfect for them. It operates in a connected and/or disconnected environ- ment. Therefore, if a vehicle loses cell coverage, the mobile map keeps working." Hoover is planning on enabling the public and implementing more mobile applications for other departments. Bigger, and Better, in Texas Organizations of all sizes are finding that enterprise GIS is attainable. West University Place, Texas, a small suburb of Houston and the home of Rice University, leveraged new technology to rapidly move GIS to the enterprise. Its first step was to do conduct a "GIS Health Check," which looked at where they were with its current GIS as well as the steps needed to move to the enterprise. In conjunction with its consultant, GTG, West University Place is implementing Esri's ArcGIS for Local Government data model and toolset. The existing data are being ported into the data model, and pertinent applications then are being deployed for various end users and the public. "West University Place is a progressive and high-tech community," adds Matthew McLamb, sales and market- ing manager for GTG. "The far-reaching toolset afforded them by leveraging ArcGIS for Local Government made sense. They are enabling internal and external users with various applications, all utilizing an enterprise data model. Existing IT technologies are being integrated while enabling field staff with easy-to-use mobile appli- cations. The organization is able to achieve enterprise- wide adoption at a relatively low cost." Start with a Plan The harsh reality is that many organizations never achieve enterprisewide GIS success. The reasons are The city of West University Place, Texas, is enabling GIS users with the tools to view and query GIS data in an easy-to-use browser-based application. numerous: no GIS plan, no education plan, lack of understanding, improper technology, improper staffing and many others. However, with today's technology, there's no viable reason for not having enterprise GIS. Many organizations need to look at what they're doing and ask, "Are we truly a successful enterprisewide GIS?" If not, they need to move quickly to identify why and implement a workable solution. All successful implementations begin with some type of plan, ranging from a full six-month-long strategic-planning endeavor to a week-long "GIS Health Check." All successful enterprisewide GIS implementations follow a systematic plan based on the needs of the user base. Fortunately, GIS software tools have come a long way during the last decade. However, the appro- priate tools have to be implemented, as options abound. Gone are the days of "GIS for GIS' sake." Organizations must entrench GIS into the daily busi- ness flow or potentially suffer the unfortunate fate of being eliminated. Curt Hinton is president and co-owner, Geographic Technologies Group; e-mail: David Holdstock is CEO and co-owner, Geographic Technologies Group; e-mail: AUGUST 2O12 / WWW . GEOPLA CE . COM 21

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