Thunder Bay, Canada – The City of Dryden received ESRI Canada’s Award of Excellence at the Regional User Conference in Thunder Bay. The award was presented to recognise Dryden’s determination in overcoming a number of challenges to fully-integrate enterprise GIS throughout the municipality.
“The City of Dryden has proven that an organization’s size is not a limiting factor when it comes to recognising the value of GIS,” said John Houweling, Ontario Regional Manager, ESRI Canada. “They have not only reduced costs and increased productivity; they will also be sharing their knowledge to help other small municipalities benefit from GIS technology.”
In 2003, the City of Dryden developed a vision of enterprise GIS that had two main goals; to centralize access to data within city departments and to create a public-facing Web portal. As a smaller municipality, Dryden faced significant cost barriers and in response, secured funding from FedNor – a federal regional development organization in Ontario – to quickly overcome this challenge.
They worked with ESRI Canada Consultants to develop an ArcGIS Server-based GIS solution that has since been integrated with many city department systems including public works, finance, utilities, city planning and emergency services. Quick and open access to common GIS data has resulted in substantial productivity gains and empowered city staff to create their own maps.
The city is currently working on a plan to communicate with small surrounding communities and offer guidance to help other municipalities successfully implement and leverage GIS technology.