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July 16, 2012
Redlands, CaliforniaCitizens of Cabarrus County, North Carolina, now have quick access to voting information and directions to polling places from the web or their mobile devices. In just a few weeks, the county leveraged its existing geographic information system (GIS), along with a free mapping application template from Esri, to launch a polling place locator application in time for the county's July 17 election. Officials expect the application to reduce the number of calls to the elections office on voting day, and the step-by-step directions will help new residents find their way to the polls more easily.
"The templates are great for getting apps out quickly," says Cabarrus County information technology director Debbie Brannan. "We met with Esri about the polling place locator app, and by the next day our GIS administrator, Zachary Woolard, had it pretty much ready to go. The HTML-responsive design of the template allowed us to also deploy it as a mobile app in the iTunes and Google Play stores."
In addition to being available via free mobile downloads, the application can be accessed online. It is embedded directly into the elections department's website and is one of 48 offerings featured on the Cabarrus County Maps and Applications web page, which was also built with a free Esri template. The page brings together a variety of online resources from across county departments to provide a central place where local government employees and the public can find place-based information. Included are interactive mapping applications related to land parcels and floodplains, which have proved useful to local real estate professionals and attorneys, and a web-based countywide GIS that Brannan says local telecommunication crews have come to rely on for the detailed views and data they require for daily operations.
The free templates Cabarrus County uses are offered as part of Esri's ArcGIS for Local Government model, which provides ArcGIS users with ideas and resources for maximizing their geospatial capabilities. The county plans to use Esri templates to create more tools soon, including a parks locator application and a unified online web resource for government service requests across the county and its municipalities. Instead of trying to find the correct city or county department website for commonly requested information related to activities such as trash pickup or reporting downed utility lines, citizens would be able to access all services from one place.
To learn more about Esri's ArcGIS for Local Government model and resources, including free templates, visit esri.com/arcgisforlocalgov.
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