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A column from Members of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association
City of Plantation's GIS
By Ivette Reyes, GISP, GIS Manager, City of Plantation, Florida
The City of Plantationwith a size of 22 square miles, it is the sixth largest city in Broward Countyis located in South Florida. The residential population is about 85,000.
The need for GIS is present in every city, but money constraints can sometimes jeopardize acquiring and implementing a GIS system in an efficient manner. For the City of Plantation, achieving the optimal GIS was full of challenges.
Beginning in 1989, the city began a CAD/GIS initiative to improve and automate different city departmental services. Some of the goals of this initiative were to
The second phase started in 2001 when the city acquired some software (not Esri's) for the purpose of mapping. However, that software's lack of performance generated frustration and dissatisfaction among end users.
In 2006, the city's GIS department was restructured, and a new system was implemented, initiating the third phase of the city's GIS. ArcGIS Desktop, ArcSDE, and ArcIMS were acquired; SQL replaced the Oracle database; and a mission statement was created:
Our Mission is to attain a higher level of efficiency by empowering our user community's decision making with the latest in geographic/spatial information.
A GIS logo was created to reinforce our commitment to the city and the users, and a new name was given to the GIS systemPlantation Geographic Information System (PGIS).
PGIS empowers our customers with the latest geographic data. It is an ArcIMS application available through the city's internal Web server. It offers 33 GIS layers, aerial photographs, and oblique imagery of the city. The application provides a full set of tools that allows the user to view, search, and retrieve geographic data in a simple, concise, and speedy way.
Some of the capabilities of PGIS are
Some of the benefits of the new system are
The accessibility of the system to the users and the amount of data available have improved the view toward GIS. Serving the application through a Web server has decreased operational costs and increased productivity. Data centralization has eliminated maintenance issues and costs while increasing quality and accuracy of data. Also, it has facilitated the sharing of information and improved communication between departments. Empowering our users to print out maps has decreased the GIS department's map requests by 90 percent.
The excellent reviews received from the users have strengthened the trust of the decision makers to support future investments in the system. Some of the improvements planned for the next phase are to
Understanding the need for and benefits of GIS has been recognized by the city since the late 1980s. The city's GIS implementation from 1989–2006 was a long and difficult one, but our commitment to serve and provide better GIS information and services will certainly make it successful this time.
About the Author
Ivette Reyes, GISP, has been the GIS manager for the City of Plantation for the last two years. She has nine years of experience in the GIS field in both the public and private sectors.
For more information, contact Ivette Reyes, GISP, GIS manager, City of Plantation, Florida (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, tel.: 954-797-2657).