By Hunter, Gary | URISA Journal, July 2005 | Go to article overview
Save to active project


Hunter, Gary, URISA Journal

For many years now the annual URISA Exemplary Systems in Government (ESIG) Awards have recognized outstanding achievement in the successful development and application of spatial systems and technologies around the world. With this in mind, and given that each award winner represents a best practice case study in project implementation and management, URISA is now showcasing some of the best award recipients from the years 2000-2004. The reasons for this are twofold.

First, URISA realized that the winning case studies deserved to be given broader publicity and in effect they have become 'success stories in GIS' that can be used to guide everyone from senior managers to students in how to implement GIS projects. Secondly, URISA felt it was important to learn how the ESIG winners had progressed in the intervening years since receiving their awards.

ESIG awards are handed out in two categories: Single Process Systems and Enterprise Systems.

Single Process award winners are outstanding and working examples of applying information system technology to automate a specific SINGLE process or operation involving one department or sub-unit of an agency. The system application results in extended and/or improved government services that are more efficient and/or save money.

Enterprise Systems are outstanding and working examples of using information systems technology in a multi-department environment as part of an integrated process. These systems exemplify effective use of technology yielding widespread improvements in the process(es) and/ or service(s) involved and/or cost savings to the organization.

Accordingly, with the assistance of other ESIG jury members, Corrie Stokes and Ken Sipos, we were invited to examine all ESIG award applications over the past five years to arrive at a short list for publication. Managers of the systems concerned were contacted and asked if they could rework their original applications into short, sharp journal articles and also update readers on their latest system developments. The results are to be published over the next two issues of the URISA Journal with six articles to appear in each issue.

In this issue, past ESIG winners from Alberta, Ontario, Washington DC, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Minnesota will be showcased

To begin, the Alberta, Canada, Spatial Information (SPIN) System was initiated for the key purpose of developing a modern web-based digital survey plan registration, archiving, printing and distribution process. The success of SPIN has seen it subsequently act as a catalyst for other organizations to pay to have their own spatial datasets delivered through the system. Benefits achieved include: a 33% cost reduction in web-delivered plan data; provision of around-the-clock, up-to-date information to system clients in isolated communities; and savings of $1 million per year in provincial cadastral map updating. SPIN 2 is now well-underway with the aim of achieving a true 'one-stop-shop' e-commerce basis for doing business with the Alberta government.

Next, the Chatham-Kent Online system in Ontario, Canada, was implemented as an open-access, online GIS to serve the business interests of municipal staff, clients, customers and consultants. The Chatham-Kent municipality was the result of a 1998 amalgamation of 23 communities, 13 utility companies and 5 police forces, and from the outset GIS was identified as the way to meet the diverse information needs of its constituents and officials. With only a modest starting budget of $150,000 there was a critical need to focus on the benefits of potential partnerships and data sharing, with the aim of making GIS as pervasive and common to users as word processing.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?