January’s App of the Month: Repentigny’s My Municipal Services

January 3, 2017 Jasmine Sohal

Throughout the year, we will feature 12 interesting and diverse customer-developed apps in our blog and on our website home page. January’s App of the Month is the City of Repentigny’s Mes services municipaux (My Municipal Services) app. Explore how this municipality has transformed how civilians discover their local services via desktop and mobile devices in this blog.

The City of Repentigny has revolutionized the way municipalities reach out to their residents and provide information on municipal services. As a recent newbie to a big city myself, one of the first things I wanted to know was what specific services are available in my area. Repentigny does this well through their Mes services municipaux (My Municipal Services) app, which leverages GIS to deliver useful municipal information.

The City is regarded by the Montreal Metropolitan Community as the commercial hub and services of the MRC de L'Assomption. With a population of 85,000 residents, Repentigny is one of the largest municipalities in the MRC and the 13th largest in Québec. With such a big population, it can be challenging for a municipality to efficiently communicate up-to-date information to their residents. The My Municipal Services app solves that challenge by providing convenient access to Repentigny’s datasets 24/7 through various web browsers on desktop and mobile devices.

Whether you’re at home or out and about in Repentigny, you can quickly find answers to your questions about municipal services such as “when is the next garbage pickup in my neighbourhood?” or “until what time is the city library open?” through this app.

How did this app come about? In 2004, Québec’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs, in association with the Québec Federation of Municipalities, released a guide that recommended how the province’s municipalities should plan, implement and manage geomatics. To address this, Repentigny hired a GIS consultant to conduct a needs assessment study that identified several areas for improvement. Consequently, an adoption of a GIS platform to inform and deliver citizen services was proposed.

Repentigny’s geomatics and information system division configured a series of map-based web apps entirely in-house that deliver information to citizens and staff quickly and efficiently.

"We wanted to ensure that we have high-quality maps that load quickly," said Patrice Pitre, head of geomatics and information system division, City of Repentigny. "We also wanted to be able to easily and securely update these maps. Esri’s cloud platform has helped us to achieve this goal. "

The My Municipal Services app leverages ArcGIS Online and Esri Canada’s ArcGIS for Canadian Municipalities, a series of comprehensive and configurable apps built on a harmonized Canadian Municipal Data Model and the ArcGIS API for JavaScript. It also uses a basemap created through the Community Maps Program.

“By leveraging the suite of configurable templates built on the Canadian Municipal Data Model, we have been able to deliver the information needed by stakeholders quickly and efficiently. As well, the Community Map of Canada basemap offers greater control of the information and reduces errors as it can be updated effortlessly,” noted Patrice.

The app itself is very user-friendly and optimized for web browsers on both desktop and mobile devices. I decided to give this app a shot on my mobile device and was quite impressed. The app loaded quickly and within seconds, I was able to pinpoint a location and discover all of the municipal services available for that location.

One really neat functionality of the of the app is that you can use it for navigation – making it easy to get accurate directions from your location to a desired location.

The app has been well-received by citizens of Repentigny, who spend an average of 2.5-3 minutes viewing the mapping section on the City’s website, the longest average time spent on any section of the site. More than 2,000 sessions have also been recorded per month.

As well, the City has received recognition from the IT industry for their app. In June 2016, the City of Repentigny received the prestigious OCTAS award from the IT ACTION Network, which recognizes organizations for their creativity, vitality and exceptional contribution to the growth of the information technology industry in Québec.

Explore the app and send us your feedback by leaving a comment below.

About the Author

Jasmine Sohal

Jasmine Sohal is a GIS Analyst for Esri Canada, holding an Honours Bachelor of Science degree from McMaster University and a post-graduate GIS Applications Specialist certificate from Sir Sandford Fleming College. As a kid, Jasmine refrained from going to new places until she drew a map of how she would get from Point A to Point B. After taking her first Introduction to GIS course at McMaster University, Jasmine knew right away where her passion lay. Now, as a self-proclaimed Geogeek, she is always inspired to visualize situations spatially and applies GIS anywhere she can. In her spare time, Jasmine is a discoverer; for good hiking trails and restaurants, that is. She is always going out to discover beautiful landscapes during her hiking adventures around the province. Off the trails, you can find her discovering new restaurants to dine at. With her open mind and willingness to adapt and learn, Jasmine is excited to see what her future in GIS holds for her.

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