By: Dave Grenley
Maricopa County’s Office of Enterprise Technology (OET) uses Esri to improve how it provides information to its 4 million citizens.
“The passion, vision and collaboration with the developer community is what makes Esri such a special company. The products they provide are feature-rich, intuitive and efficient. And that also describes the product development team,” said Tapas Das, GIS programmer and analyst for the OET.
As the county’s central service enterprise technology provider, OET serves over 30 county departments.
The stated vision of OET is to be recognized as a first-class technology organization by the citizens they serve. A factor in achieving that vision for many departments is the ability to share information on the web and mobile devices with the public. The solution lies in engaging, easy-to-use web maps.
“GIS has become a powerful tool for Maricopa County to leverage in creating new avenues for citizen interaction, communication and search functionality,” said Das.
Maricopa County has prioritized investment in technology solutions and strategic partnerships that enable county departments to deliver quality service and information quickly, consistently, and reliably. This required a complete overhaul of the previous systems.
When Das began his role as GIS programmer and analyst, every county department’s data was siloed. Each had their own custom applications, unique to their particular audience. That was about to change.
Under David Moss, OET’s new geographic information officer, every department’s data was integrated into one common platform. By using Esri’s Web AppBuilder, OET made county information available across the network.
David’s grand vision of a 100 computer ArcGIS server farm for Maricopa County also became a reality. Big data is positioned squarely at the center of the key initiatives in OET’s Strategic Plan for 2016.
“Maricopa County is making a significant investment in sharing data with our citizens through geographic information systems (GIS), said Das. “The Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS makes it possible for us to build feature rich, fully responsive web applications that run anywhere, on any browser and any device. And we don’t have to write a single line of code! We can go from a map service to a polished web app deployed on any server in four hours.”
A Unique Relationship Results in Innovative Solutions in Data Sharing
The collaborative relationship Maricopa County’s OET (a 2016 Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Award Winner) has built with Esri is fundamental to the way it provides citizens with unprecedented access to information and services. In the early stages of production, Esri’s team of developers and engineers assisted with the Q&A and back-end work, making the process of creating new apps easy for all stakeholders.
“This is not a typical end-user – solution provider-type of relationship,” said Das. “It is a purely collaborative one. When users request a new feature, Esri’s team of developers work hand-in-hand with OET to build the custom widget, fulfilling our citizen’s request for additional functionality.”
County employees of all skill levels are now creating their own unique apps for public consumption. The citizens of Maricopa County are benefitting. With a centralized destination for all web apps across over 30 different agencies, access to a rich source of information is easy.
“It’s a great way to showcase all of our hard work for the public,” said Das. “Maricopa County can provide a very useful application on a smart phone that is easy to use, attractive, powerful, and available at their fingertips in one click.”
Download a free tutorial provided by Tapas Das that walks you through creating your first application in Esri’s Web AppBuilder.