Separating tasks and tools in MapOffice

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The organization of MapOffice™ you may have noticed has changed
slightly. What was once just tools has been separated into two
categories. Tools and tasks are now available at differing levels of
functionality depending on the version of MapOffice™ you are using.Tool
and tasks have been separated as a result of feedback from the user
community.

Many local government users wanted the ability to measure and conduct
other tool type functions with executing their business
processes/tasks. The two were separated and definitions for each
created.Tasks are focused on work completed by local government. These
are functions that occur every day in local government and the addition
of GIS makes them more efficient. An example of a task is isolating a
water main using the water main isolation task. These differ from tools
in that tools work independently of tasks and basemaps. Tools are
traditional technical functions of GIS like measure and identify.
Examples of tools are measure distance, measure area, identify and
markup. These can be used regardless of what view is being used or task
is being completed.

Find the nearest feature tool

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Finding the nearest feature is something that local government
employees do everyday. It might be finding the nearest hydrant in event
of a fire, nearest water valve for shutoff, or nearest schools and
medical facilities in event of an emergency. With the nearest feature
tool this search can be customized for as many features as you want and
what feature you may be searching for.

In the past government had to rely on paper maps to measure the
distance to a nearest community asset. With the deployment of MapOffice™
and the find nearest feature tool within seconds of clicking or
entering a property you can find the nearest feature that interests the
user. It might be schools, hydrants, parks, valves, place of worship,
community facilities, landmark or medical facilites. As the GIS system
grows so will the possible features to query. Finding the nearest
feature is done quickly and easily using MapOffice™ Advanced.

Currently only available in MapOffice™ advance this feature will soon
be made available to the public as well. Typically residents choose
communties based on the community assets available to them (schools,
parks, emergency protection). By providing this tool at the public level
residents can find the nearest park, place of worship or school. This
public feature will be available at the end of May.

Find the nearest feature tool

Blog_Find_the_nearest_feature_tool.png

Finding the nearest feature is something that local government
employees do everyday. It might be finding the nearest hydrant in event
of a fire, nearest water valve for shutoff, or nearest schools and
medical facilities in event of an emergency. With the nearest feature
tool this search can be customized for as many features as you want and
what feature you may be searching for.

In the past government had to rely on paper maps to measure the
distance to a nearest community asset. With the deployment of MapOffice™
and the find nearest feature tool within seconds of clicking or
entering a property you can find the nearest feature that interests the
user. It might be schools, hydrants, parks, valves, place of worship,
community facilities, landmark or medical facilites. As the GIS system
grows so will the possible features to query. Finding the nearest
feature is done quickly and easily using MapOffice™ Advanced.

Currently only available in MapOffice™ advance this feature will soon
be made available to the public as well. Typically residents choose
communties based on the community assets available to them (schools,
parks, emergency protection). By providing this tool at the public level
residents can find the nearest park, place of worship or school. This
public feature will be available at the end of May.

The GIS Consortium in Directions Magazine

​Directions magazine is an international magazine and leading source
of information, news and commentary in the fields of geospatial and
location-based technologies. Today they published an article related to
the GIS Consortium recieving the 2010 GITA Excellence Award. This award
is not possible without the hard work and collaboration of the GIS
Consoritium communities and Board Members. The is great recognition for
all the hard work and innovation that the GIS Consortium represents.

You can read that article here.

The GIS Consortium in Directions Magazine

​Directions magazine is an international magazine and leading source
of information, news and commentary in the fields of geospatial and
location-based technologies. Today they published an article related to
the GIS Consortium recieving the 2010 GITA Excellence Award. This award
is not possible without the hard work and collaboration of the GIS
Consoritium communities and Board Members. The is great recognition for
all the hard work and innovation that the GIS Consortium represents.

You can read that article here.

Water main isolation tool deployed

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The isolation of a water main is an important function of local
government. Isolation of a water main needs to occur for a variety of
reasons. Typically it is done to allow for maintenance or inspections,
but it can also be done in the event of a spill or leak to prevent
something from getting in rather than to stop something from getting
out. Water main isolation can also used to take a piece of a plant out
of use for a short or long period of time or to change the process
stream.

In the past government had to rely on atlas books or handwritten
notes to determine the impact of a broken water main on the utility
network. With the deployment of MapOffice™ and the water main isolation
tool within seconds of clicking a pipe the impact of isolating a pipe
can be visualized along with a list of effected hydrants and valves.
This analysis is done quickly and easily using MapOffice™ Advanced.

An additional feature is that the user can run an address notify and
get the addresses of the potential houses effected by the isolation of
the selected water main. With the release of this MapOffice™ Advanced
tool the complex analysis of analyzing a utility network can be
completed within seconds and run for a variety of scenarios providing a
valuable service and time savings to decision makers and crews out in
the field.

Why GIS and Why Now?

​Tom Thomey wrote and Kelsey Rydland contributed to an article on page
six of the Illinois City/County Managers Association (ILCMA) April 2010
newsletter. The article addresses the need for GIS in these difficult
economic times. While the article is not specifically about the GIS
Consortium it is about how the GISC model can reduce the cost of GIS.
The full article is available on the ILCMA website.

http://il-ilcma.civicplus.com/archives/48/April2010.pdf

Lake Forest becomes 17th member of the GIS Consortium

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We are proud to announce that the City of Lake Forest has joined the
GIS Consortium. The City is the 17th member and largest based on square
miles (17.2) and the ninth largest community based on population
(20,990). The City implemented their GIS in 1997 and is one of three
communities in the Chicago Metro area to have had a GIS program in the
late 1990s.

The City GIS is one of the premier programs in the Chicago area and
the GIS Consortium excited about the collaborative partnership. The
partnership provides an opportunity to work together to share common
experiences, best practices, improve efficiency and lower the cost of
GIS. Some important upcoming projects are the implementation of New
World Systems for emergency dispatch and converting as-built and utility
data into the GIS Consortium Utility model.

Collaboration to develop emergency dispatch systems

​MGP Inc. through it’s relationship with the GIS Consortium has
in-depth experience building GIS data for New World Systems (NWS)
implementations. GIS data has been built for the following
municipalities by MGP; Glenview, Deerfield, Highland Park, Lincolnwood,
Winnetka, Wilmette*, Kenilworth*, Grays Lake* and Bannockburn.* The
communities with a "*" are not members of the GIS Consortium.

The building of NWS data is another example of how collaboration has
reduced costs for GISC members using NWS for emergency dispatch. With
each implementation the time spent preparing the data and assuring the
accuracy of conversion from the GISC model to the NWS model improves.
Conversion scripts and best practices have been developed and are shared
throughout the GISC. GIS data that supports New World’s GIS mapping
system has been built and converted with repeated and predicable
success. NWS has recognized the GISC for its ability to manage and
create quality GIS data to be used in their systems.

Training Village staff to use GIS

​The Village of Skokie has progressively added new users, taking
advantage of the Village’s Geographic Information System (GIS). While
adding users is key to the success of the GIS Program, new users have a
learning curve for the new applications and software whether it be
ArcView™ or MapOffice™ Advanced. Training and demonstrations can
alleviate many of the questions and issues users have with interacting
with the new technology.

Unlike GIS Professionals, the Village’s users do not necessarily use
the GIS applications every day. Without the constant use, the processes
can sometimes be forgotten and steps are by-passed. These problems can
be eliminated by more frequent training and updates. The Village is now
constructing a plan that will increase the training for ArcView users
which will in turn increase the information at their finger tips.
Likewise, demonstrations for MapOffice™ will occur more frequently,
allowing a broad group of users to interact with the application.

Training is essential to fully optimize and understand how the new
technology can help the users in their workflows. Understanding the
processes and steps will eliminate the time needed to navigate the
application and gather a final product.