With the advent of mobile devices, websites, and cloud-sharing, municipalities can leverage Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to organize, share, map, and analyze assets across multiple departments, and even separate agencies. For example, this is what an enterprise GIS solution allows, simultaneously:

  • A field crew reviews a structure’s maintenance history on their tablet computers.
  • Another field crew adds the locations of newly installed traffic signs into a mobile device.
  • The field crews’ data automatically syncs to a geodatabase back in the office, where engineers pull the files directly into CAD.
  • Various department managers view municipal assets on their desktops via a GIS website that connects to the geodatabase, which shows data updates in real time.
  • A GIS user programs a series of maps that will print with a single command.
  • Another user calculates how many utilities will be impacted by a future roadway project.

Investing in a multiuser, or enterprise, GIS solution can also be less costly than a single-user solution. With enterprise solutions, departments and agencies that share a geodatabase and GIS tools can split the costs. This reduces your department’s initial investment while increasing return on investment (ROI).

Complex projects that involve multiple entities also benefit from a shared geodatabase and GIS solution. Take Florida DOT’s (FDOT) SunRail project, for example.

On May 1, after 22 years and $1.3 billion, more than 10,000 people boarded Florida’s second commuter rail line in downtown Orlando. The completion of the project’s first phase kicked off a new transportation era, relieving traffic congestion for the millions of tourists who flock to Walt Disney World and other popular attractions every year. The train line is fast becoming the economic spine of Central Florida, with development sprouting in its wake.

Project team members relied heavily on GIS tools to achieve this sort of success.

Next page: An enterprise GIS solution