Local government adopts the use of free GIS technology


ArcReaderTM is a free Geographic Information System (GIS) application
created by ESRITM that gives novice users the ability to explore
geographic data within an interactive map environment. In addition,
ArcReaderTM is a great tool for the common GIS user looking to advance
their skills in GIS, but do not have the time to tackle the learning
curve involved in understanding ESRI’s more advanced ArcViewTM

The history of using ArcReaderTM within the City of Highland Park
goes back many years with its first deployment of installation conducted
in the city’s sewer maintenance trucks. Not only did the use of this
application replace the oversized field note map atlases that were being
used at the time, it also ensured that the data being displayed was
more current. By selecting this mobile application, the City of
Highland Park has continued to provide the Public Works Department with
the ability to view their utility infrastructures out in the field with
no additional cost to the city. Moreover, the implementation of this
application has improved the process in which field crews accurately
track and identify their unique utility information while working out in
the field.

In addition to the deploying the ArcReaderTM application for the use
of the Public Works Department, the City of Highland Park GIS Department
also decided to create another project that would satisfy the needs of
other local government needs. The goal of this new project was to
provide the community staff with the ability to measure distances or
areas, turn layers on and off and create maps that could be used for
board meetings as well as presentations.

As city employees started to use the newly deployed ArcReaderTM
project they began to request more theme-orientated maps requiring
specific data layers that were not found in the second deployment. For
example, the Community Development Department requested a project that
related more to land use and site plan development where as the
Engineering Department requested a project that allowed for contour line
and spot elevation identification. Feedback on these customized map
projects has been well received as the city’s departments have found it
easier to use a product that contains data relative to their daily
workflow. Thus exemplifying the ability for GIS technology to speak the
language of local government and aid in the processes that occur within
many community departments.

ArcReaderTM is an important part of local government GIS structure at
the City of Highland Park as city employees are provided with an easy
to use application that comes at no additional cost. Not only does this
applications provide the tools necessary for assisting its users with
their day-to-day tasks, it also provides them with the knowledge of how
geographic data works within their community making this application a
successful tool in local government for years to come.