Engaging the People of New Orleans with GIS

Monday, August 29 marks the 11 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the costliest disaster in American history. And while the category five storm caused unprecedented damage, the community has rebuilt the destroyed infrastructure, and has also taken new steps forward technologically.
The city of New Orleans now uses GIS extensively, and incorporates Esri’s ArcGIS platform into a series of enterprise applications. These help the public stay informed as well as enabling them to participate in making their city a better, safer place to live.
For instance, a new website called Where Y’at, is allowing citizens to access public data as easily as any common search engine.  By typing in their address, people can find up-to-date information about property boundaries, garbage, and recycling pick-up days, polling locations, district representation, and more.

Another application, Property Survey, allows the public to rate properties.  It also gives government new reliable data on vacant lots, foundation type, and housing resiliency.  An upcoming app, “Adopt a Catch Basin,” will aid in ensuring that debris doesn’t hinder ground water drainage. This new system that assigns people to check their basins prior to a storm feeds data directly into the city’s 311 system. A ticket is automatically created for cleared and blocked basins. Once a basin gets cleared, that ticket is closed.
New Orleans believes that citizens shouldn’t have to come to city hall to become more engaged with their government. Engaged citizens can make a difference from their homes, or even out and about via mobile devices, where 200 volunteers documented standing water locations for the health department to assess mosquito breeding ground potential, thus reducing the spread of the Zika Virus.
Esri’s ArcGIS platform continues to help communities innovate and keep leaders and citizens active and engaged with applications like Where Y’at and Property Survey. Find out more about Esri’s commitment to public works at the Public Works Expo, at the Minneapolis Convention Center, August 28-31. Esri, along with Esri Canada and six Partners will demonstrate ArcGIS for Public Works, the powerful set of solutions for intelligent public works systems. Esri enables public works departments to share data with all divisions on a common platform, linking them together with a familiar mapping interface, and coordinating the work of the entire city.

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