Enterprise License Agreement Extends GIS Success for City of Philadelphia

Helps More Departments Improve Work, Spur New Services, and Reduce Costs

The City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is taking advantage of Esri’s enterprise license agreement (ELA) program to supply more departments and government workers with geographic information system (GIS) software. As a result, many city departments are now building and sharing their data, applications, and services. The new GIS applications and data help the city work more effectively to give its citizens improved services. The ELA will also help reduce costs over the next several years.

“The ELA has been instrumental in expanding GIS use across the city, especially in a time of tight budgets,” says James L. Querry, director of enterprise GIS, City of Philadelphia Division of Technology. “The agreement extends the benefits of GIS by allowing departments to produce data and perform geospatial analysis themselves. It also gives them the ability to implement critical systems, such as Cityworks’ GIS-based asset and work order management, to improve the city’s ability to deliver services faster and more effectively.”

Esri offers ELAs for all types of organizations including commercial firms and federal, state, regional, and local government agencies as well as low-cost ELAs for smaller local governments and utilities.

The Esri ELA program gives Philadelphia a cost-effective way to deploy and extend GIS into a wide array of business processes. It enables city staff to efficiently manage further GIS expansion for delivering business value throughout the entire organization. As a result, more departments use GIS analysis as part of their daily operations. In many cases, these departments can easily use the software as part of their workflow rather than soliciting GIS data and analysis services from the city’s central GIS group within the Division of Technology.

Several new projects have resulted from the deployment of the ELA. These include

Free GIS-based iPhone application—This allows people to report a problem immediately using the convenience of an iPhone. They can take photos of an issue—such as a downed streetlight or debris blocking a road—and send the geotagged picture directly to the city’s 311 system. It’s then immediately routed to the appropriate city department.

3D Cities initiative—Using sophisticated guidance systems, lidar sensors, oblique imagery, spherical imagery, and other data sources, the agency is piloting a 3D model of downtown Philadelphia. It includes a 3D surface model, as well as building interiors and belowground transit corridors with extremely accurate representations, displayed using GIS. The modeling will assist with a number of services, from responding to an underground emergency to planning future growth.

PhillyStat—Based on the Baltimore, Maryland, CitiStat system, PhillyStat is a performance-based management methodology that takes advantage of GIS data, maps, and analysis to continually improve the quality of services provided to the citizens of Philadelphia. It evaluates policies and procedures practiced by city departments for delivering all manners of urban services, from criminal investigation to pothole repair.

[Source: Esri press release]