From the Trenches
For Esri users in public works departments, 2014 is an important year. For those of you involved in water, wastewater, and/or stormwater, you have been able to benefit from the ArcGIS for Water Utilities solution suite. We have learned from this success and will be rolling out a similar solution suite for those who work with right-of-way (ROW)—namely pavement management, street signs, and other ROW assets—as well as barricading and parking. We will be beta testing these new maps and apps with select public works department users, getting these items ready for prime time for the rest of you. So I feel that the ArcGIS for Public Works solution suite will finally come to fruition with both the road and water tools being in place—not to forget the solid waste tools, folks, that are in the queue.
Having a comprehensive ArcGIS for Public Works solution suite is ideal for public works departments that have limited resources and can quickly fire up field apps that bring asset data from the office into the field and back into the office so enterprise records can be updated for all to use in the decision-making process. The important thing to remember is that these maps and apps will be supported by Esri in the future. As we upgrade versions of ArcGIS, these maps and apps will be upgraded as well, ready for your configuration. With respect to configuration, many of these require little to no programming. I like to say, "right-click" your way to intelligent public works systems.
Another important aspect of these maps and apps is that Esri partner ecosystem is beginning to adapt them into its solution offerings. We have partners that specialize in implementation jump starts, partners that build on top of these solutions, and partners that integrate them into workflows such as work management systems. This was a key part of my Public Infrastructure Tour (esri.com/PITour): not only do you need to know what assets you have but also what you are doing to them. So if you haven't started an asset management program, look to our partner enterprise asset management solutions that leverage the ArcGIS platform and you will be surprised at how easily and affordably you can get started.
If you have received this newsletter, chances are you already know the importance of GIS in public works. I encourage you to share it with your management, operational departments, and residents so that they, too, can better understand the benefits of a GIS implementation in public works and local government.
If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me.
Esri Public Works Industry Manager
Read previous columns: Summer 2013, Winter 2013, Summer 2012, Winter 2012 issue.