Independence and collaboration with ArcGIS: the key to your success!

July 20, 2018

In the past few years, geographic information systems (GIS) have become more accessible to everyone. With ArcGIS Online, it is now easy to quickly share crucial information across your organization.

Sharing information is at the heart of effective municipal operations. Whether it’s your colleague who depends on you to complete their daily tasks or a citizen who needs information on the services offered by your organization, information needs to be shared easily.

This also applies to GIS and descriptive data, such as zoning, tourist attractions or your graphic matrix. The ArcGIS platform offers several tools that can help you share this information. In this post, I will discuss a few of the ways that ArcGIS can be used to simplify the exchange of information among employees at a municipal organization and also with its citizens. You will also discover how our platform can improve your internal processes.

Graphic matrix, public spaces, services and much more!

The ArcGIS platform allows you to share the information you want, with whomever you choose. Do you want to publicly share information such as high-speed internet coverage, your region’s wetlands or cadaster as done recently by MRC de Coaticook? Or perhaps you want to share data on the road network, protected areas or the major uses of your territory? Regardless of theme, you will find many templates and tools in ArcGIS that can facilitate the understanding and sharing of this data. Here are a few.

Leverage Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS

Web AppBuilder allows you to configure GIS apps without coding. When you’re ready to publish your data, Web AppBuilder will ask you to choose from a variety of themes, create a personalized style and add one or several software widgets that will enable the user to easily interact with your map. You can use this tool to publish a graphic matrix, as in this example, or even your municipal zoning.

Use an existing model

You can also choose from a large selection of ready-to-use models. If you want to analyze a phenomenon over time, promote participatory production or simply present information in a streamlined interface, you will find a model that meets your needs.

Create a story map

If you need to insert other supporting multimedia to your map, you can leverage Esri Story Maps. Story Maps allow you to create attractive presentations that use intuitive interfaces to combine text, photos, videos, sound clips and of course, maps. COBAMIL used Story Maps to create an interactive directory that promotes water management initiatives in the region.

Sharing internally or with the public? You decide!

Confidential information must remain within your organization. However, in some cases, there is information that would be advantageous to share with the public. With ArcGIS, you can do both. You can also assign additional privileges to some users, while restricting access for others. For example, for your graphic matrix, you can make the search-by-name tool internally available and revoke public access rights to this function. Discover how MRC Brome-Missisquoi benefits from sharing information using ArcGIS Online by watching this interview (in French).

Activate your unused named users

Many of you already have several ArcGIS Online named user licenses available to you. By activating and deploying them, you could make it easier to share and collaborate within your organization. You can assign these user licenses and add members to your organizational account by following one of these steps. Once the users are members of your group, you may want to activate the tools for budgeting credit usage in ArcGIS Online, and consider allocating a set number of credits to each user. Learn more about credit allocation and budgeting.

Be the project manager

There was a time when placing updated files in a central data server was a revolutionary approach. However, this approach presented a number of challenges: outdated data, difficulty loading data and understanding the tools (especially with staff turnover), data duplication and many more.

The ArcGIS platform allows you to update your data in real time and publish it in easy-to-use apps. This drastically reduces the number of times data needs to be manually entered or manipulated and simplifies your work as administrator. The users in your municipality will now be able to provide your citizens with up-to-date information in a timely manner.

With ArcGIS, you can update data yourself, or you can assign this role to your colleagues so that they can update the information without your involvement.

ArcGIS offers all stakeholders independent access to information: from the citizen to the receptionist, from the mayor to the person in charge of waterways. This allows you to focus on your important tasks and fast-track the completion of your projects.

If you have any questions about this topic, please contact us. To learn more, register for our free webinar (in French) on September 6, 2018.

This blog post was originally written in French by Frédéric Blouin-Michaud and can be viewed here.

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