Starting out 2023 with the APWA Top 5 Trending Technologies

Each year since 2018, the American Public Works Association (APWA) surveys their 30,000+ membership to identify the Top 5 Tech Trends for the Public Works community. They just released the list of 2023 and once again, GIS is on the list, along with drones, asset management, field crew technology, and electric vehicles.

These technologies are not mutually exclusive. They are all connected, and GIS is the integrative technology that ties them together. GIS is a key component in drone flight planning and for making the data collected by drones useful in other applications. To make asset management most effective, you must know where your assets are, so GIS is a critical part of any asset management initiative. Field crew technology relies heavily on GIS, whether it’s helping the crews plan their field work, coordinating the work, navigating to the work, understanding the work location and surrounding area, capturing data, and for those back in the office monitoring their work. As we transition to electric vehicles (EVs), the need for expanded EV support infrastructure is increasing and GIS, is a powerful tool for supporting that expansion. Whether it’s siting of EV charging stations, or planning and permitting the electric grid expansion, ensuring this expansion is equitable and sustainable, GIS plays a powerful role.

Let’s look at some examples of how each of these five technologies are being utilized by Public Works organizations, and how drones, asset management, field crews and EVs are integrated with GIS:

For decades, thousands of public works agencies have partnered with Esri as their first choice to incorporate spatial thinking into their daily operations with ArcGIS. What are your plans for 2023 for implementing GIS and the rest of the Top 5 Tech Trends in your public works operation? For more information on how you can use GIS to support your mission, please check out our website: If you have a GIS success story you would like to share with the community, please visit our self-service success story portal.

About the author

Adam Carnow is the Public Works Industry Marketing Specialist at Esri, the global market leader in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). He is a keynote speaker and thought leader. He collaborates with his colleagues, Esri Partners and customers to lead the successful application of ArcGIS across the public works disciplines. Mr. Carnow has over 30 years of experience as a GIS practitioner in the public and private sectors, as well as academia. During his 15-year career at Esri he has previously served as a Local Government Account Manager and a Community Evangelist. Prior to joining Esri, he practiced as a GIS consultant and planner in the AEC industry and taught GIS at the University of South Florida. He holds a BA in Geography, and a MA in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Florida and has achieved certification as an Urban Planner (AICP) and GIS Professional (GISP). He is a member of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) Board of Directors and a graduate of the URISA GIS Leadership Academy.


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