Providing Tools for Newsgathering and Management

Arizona Republic Blazing Trails with GIS

A map from election nightWith a circulation of approximately 500,000, Phoenix, Arizona's Arizona Republic is the 12th-largest daily newspaper in the United States. It is also leading the way in applying GIS as an analytic tool for newsgathering and reporting, as well as all other areas of the newspaper Business.

A little over a year ago, Arizona Republic began its GIS effort by purchasing an Esri GIS system that included SDE for Sybase and 55 licenses of ArcView GIS, MapObjects, and NetEngine.

"Our goal was to have a GIS system that would meet our internal needs of the corporation, which includes the Arizona Republic and the Indianapolis Star/News, as well as provide our various Internet sites with customized mapping capabilities," said Dena Greenawalt, technology development manager for Central Newspapers Inc., the parent company of the Arizona Republic.

Advertising uses GIS at Arizona Republic to show where circulation is reaching loyal customers, and it identifies potential customers. It also locates where the competition is. The use of GIS in integrated marketing, or direct mail, shows advertisers how they are going to reach their customers via mail and carrier subscription and shows advertisers the profile of potential customers.

Circulation uses GIS to show upper management the penetration level of circulation by ZIP Code, zones, and so forth, as well as the penetration level of single-copy sales.

The newsroom, like others, uses GIS to display election information with maps for both the online and ink-on-paper editions, enhance feature articles, and reveal patterns in everything from crime to housing issues. The Arizona Republic is finding new uses for GIS virtually every day.

Central Newspapers Inc. is implementing GIS applications as an innovative Business strategy in the publishing industry.

"The company will be using GIS to display employee carpool and work site alternatives to help reduce ozone levels," says Ellen Steevensz, information technology team leader at the Arizona Republic. "Our Arizona Republic Web site at uses GIS to display Arizona attractions and routes dynamically on the official State of Arizona Web site ( It's really an exciting time to be involved with GIS."

For more information, contact Ellen Steevensz, Arizona Republic IT team leader (E-mail:

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