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The City of Chicago Implements ArcGIS and the Geodatabase Across the Enterprise
The City of Chicago, Illinois, has faced many traditional hurdles in its 10-year effort to grow and support GIS within City government. A variety of technologies were used. Moreover, without a common vision for enterprise GIS, departments carried out projects independently of one another. Consequently, datasets and tools were not integrated Citywide.
Enterprise GIS implementation began in 1998, when Chicago adopted Esri software as its GIS standards and a number of departments began implementing large-scale projects on a consistent platform with a common data format. In time, all data created by the City was distributed to departments via SDE.
Now, through a consideration of data and process enhancements offered by ArcGIS and the geodatabase, the City is embarking on a comprehensive enterprise GIS planning effort.
The GIS Project Unit of Chicago's Business and Information Services Department (BIS/GIS) is responsible for over-sight and implementation of GIS in the City. For the last four years, BIS/GIS has been working very hard to promote enterprise GIS concepts. "We are extremely excited about the implementation of our current environment and training for our users," says Kauser Razvi, project director of GIS for the City, "We're looking forward to continuing our implementation plan as both the technology and our users have matured." By considering the enhancements offered by ArcGIS and the geodatabase in the context of the ways that GIS is developed, used, and supported at the City, BIS/GIS and Esri Professional Services will define an updated enterprise framework to standardize the City's GIS data, applications, system, and staffing environment.
A number of active data and application development projects within the City of Chicago are already making use of ArcGIS and the geodatabase. The Chicago Police Department developed the Information Collection for Automated Mapping (ICAM) program in 1993 to give beat officers the ability to analyze crime statistics spatially. The next generation of Citizen ICAM is being built with ArcIMS 3.1, which will be also used to provide additional map services for the department. The Departments of Sewers and Water are updating their custom-built IBM GIS system with standard ArcGIS-based mapping and maintenance tools and new geodatabase utility models. BIS/GIS is developing ageocoding engine to provide geocoding services to clients throughout Chicago from an enterprise ArcSDE 8.1 data server.
Expanding the Effort City-Wide
While individual, departmental ArcGIS and geodatabase initiatives are under way, enterprisewide implementation is by no means straightforward. GIS development initiatives conducted by individual departments can contribute to a fractured data and application environment throughout the enterprise. In the long term, these unique development paths can lead to redundant and unsynchronized data sets and make it difficult to provide comprehensive application support. With ArcGIS, the City of Chicago has found it opportune to reconsider how GIS data is distributed and used, and how to develop applications, systems, and training requirements in the context of the many enhancements offered by this new platform.
Enterprise Implementation Planning Steps
The approach that Esri and BIS/GIS have taken toward planning the implementation of ArcGIS and the geodatabase has both a short- and a long-term focus. Short-term activities will provide a migration path for existing data and applications and describe their corresponding system and training requirements. Long-term activities will involve assessing the enhancements offered by ArcGIS and the geodatabase in the context of the City's Business processes to define new data, applications, and system and organizational models for the enterprise that more fully leverage the capabilities of ArcGIS.
The following activities will establish short- and long-term ArcGIS implementation plans.
This structured approach toward implementation planning can be adapted to state and local governments of any size that would like to explore the potential of implementing enterprise ArcGIS.
For further information, please contact Paul van Nieuwkuyk, the Esri project manager (tel.: 909-793-2853, ext. 1-2635).