GIS for Public Works

From the Trenches

Winter 2012

I have to start off my first issue of Esri News for Public Works with a small tribute to Chuck Cmeyla, our former industry manager. If you barely got to know Chuck from his first two issues, let me assure you he was an avid GIS professional and credit to the public works industry, and he is an all-around fantastic guy. This picture says 1,000 words about him. I wish him well in his retirement.

So the first thing you need to know about me is that I have been in both IT and operations. My last assignment was in operations within a citizen-owned utility. I've been there fighting for those precious budget dollars. I hope this newsletter over the years will bring you information you can use to help leverage GIS in your organization.

I read an interesting article in the latest edition of APWA Reporter, "Span of Control Impacts Public Works Efficiency" by Joyce Lorick. It truly resonated with me when I thought about my previous role. To me the underlying message about span of control is communication. It also occurred to me that ArcGIS can serve the same purpose. Span of control is about efficient workflow, and efficient workflow is most often tied to having the right information from which to execute reasonable actions. This sounds like the tagline of our latest ArcGIS offerings: Discover, Create, Manage, Visualize, Analyze, and Collaborate Anywhere, on Any Device, at Any Time.

Suggesting to your boss that ArcGIS can do your next performance review is probably not a good idea, but I hope you get my point. The deployment of ArcGIS throughout an organization does bring information to all levels, it does facilitate efficiency in workflow, and it can optimize your work force so you can respond to the overused mandate of "do more with less." Now that I have set the stage where Chuck began in issue 1, stay tuned to see how ArcGIS can help you deal with aging infrastructure, a changing work force, unfunded mandates, and increased citizen engagement.


David Totman

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