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Calgary Implements Enterprise GIS with Esri Software

City of Calgary skylineThe City of Calgary, the fastest growing municipality in Canada, has started the implementation of its new enterprise GIS. Calgary is drawing from the full complement of Esri software including ArcView GIS with its extensions ArcView Spatial Analyst, ArcView Network Analyst, ArcView 3D Analyst, ArcView Tracking Analyst, and ArcPress for ArcView. The City's implementation will also include ArcInfo, ArcFM, and SDE with Oracle as a data management server.

Having used GIS for almost 10 years, staff members in Calgary are well informed about the power of geographic analysis. However, the City felt that with the technological leaps that had occurred during the past decade, it was time to evaluate the top GIS products in the marketplace to determine whether GIS software had matured to enable its implementation across the City enterprise.

Bob Eason, the City's GIS project manager, was tasked with leading the evaluation. After six months of demonstrations and benchmarks, the City's GIS project team determined that the Esri family of software best fit the City's current and future GIS needs.

Eason explained, "Basically the Esri software is very stable and has a lot of out-of-the-box functionality. You can do things with it right now, and that alone will help us revitalize our GIS efforts. In addition, Esri is an industry leader and seems to understand what municipalities require. They demonstrated to us that they understand our Business needs and can help us achieve our goals in this partnering process over the next several years to make GIS really work in our City."

The new enterprise GIS looms large in the City's information technology future. Plans include as many as 3,000 GIS users within the next five years, many accessing data through the Web.

The City plans to initially implement quick query and display and thematic mapping applications and then develop more complex analytical and modeling programs.

Continues Eason, "Our federal government is promoting a program called Smart Communities. They are trying to harness the power of information and communication technologies across Canada to expedite the decision making process and stimulate economic growth. I believe that our new enterprise GIS fits in very neatly with the federal government's technological goals. There is a downsizing trend in government today, and officials are looking to technology to help offset some of the impact of staff reductions. Since GIS technology allows easy data access and management, it can help in this consolidation, while maintaining or even increasing the level of service expected by our citizens."

For more information, contact Bob Eason, Calgary GIS project manager (E-mail: bob.eason@gov.calgary.ab.ca).

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