The Town of Richmond Hill’s GIS-enabled web service, RHexplorer, was awarded the Gold medal at the 2004 “Be Spatial” competition sponsored by the Ontario chapter of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA). RHexplorer, based on Orion’s OnPoint product, is available to both internet and intranet users. The victory marks the fifth year in a row that an Orion-based solution won first prize at the URISA competition.
RHexplorer leverages Orion’s OnPoint technology to allow users to interact with the community’s spatial data by clicking graphical maps and zooming in to areas of interest. Users can locate addresses and discover information about key neighborhood facilities and services. The Internet version of the site was designed specifically to be client-centric-both casual users and power users can easily navigate the various features of the site with a minimum of clicking. The designers enhanced the “out of the box” user interface with a customized skin, and they paid careful attention to the link paths, building in full-cycle linkages to allow users to click from RHexplorer to PDF (printable) maps and back to interactive (clickable) maps.
The intranet version of RHexplorer integrates with the Town’s other business systems, providing a “one-stop shopping” portal for 250 internal users from all Town departments. The underlying OnPoint platform makes data from multiple sources available to planners and analysts through a single user interface, including data on development progress (with links to building permit data) and property ownership (updated nightly from the municipal tax and property databases.