This division of the Information Technology Department is responsible for managing two strategic technologies:
Geographic Information SystemsGeographic Information Systems (GIS) integrates spatial data (maps) and tabular data (informational databases) through computer technology. In doing so, it revolutionizes the way that information can be used.
GIS is one of the basic building blocks of the City’s technology offerings. The goal is to deploy GIS throughout the organization, improving the way services are delivered to residents and businesses. To this end, GIS supports the databases, develops applications, and provides technical assistance to a growing base of users.
It has been suggested that more than 80 percent of the information maintained by municipal organizations is "geographically referenced." This means that information is tied to a location on the earth's surface by a street address, a depiction on a map, or through some similar technique. Examples of geographically referenced data include aerial photography, addresses, crime incidents, water customer locations, and vehicle routes.
Greensboro uses the ESRI suite of products. For users of personal computers, this includes ArcMap version 10.0. The City maintains 13 licenses of ArcInfo, seven licenses of ArcEditor, and 30 licenses for ArcView. A wide array of ArcMap extensions are also available. More than 150 users, spread across nearly every City department, regularly use this software. Increasingly, we are delivering GIS technology via “server side” applications using a combination of ESRI’s ArcIMS and ArcGIS Server products.
The typical platform for ArcInfo is a Dell Precision workstation running Windows 7. The typical ArcView platform is one of several models of Dell personal computers.
Multiple servers provide data to GIS users. This includes Dell file servers that host SQLServer based data (including ArcSDE layers as well as non-GIS data). Application servers support both ArcIMS and ArcGIS Server applications. Prototyping servers are also used for application development and testing.
The application development platform for GIS combines a number of technologies, including ESRI’s ArcObjects, VB.net, ASP.net and Silverlight. Increasingly, application development includes Java, Flex and HTML5. Most database management occurs in Microsoft’s SQLServer 2008 R2. ArcGIS operates in a Client / Server environment running Windows 7 on desktops and a variety of Windows Server products on file servers and application servers. While GIS provides direct application development services for many GIS-centric applications, the division frequently partners with the Application Services Division of Information Technology in applications that are traditionally IT applications, but which can be enhanced by GIS functionality.
Enterprise Asset ManagementThe delivery of municipal services to residents rests on complex systems of public infrastructure that are both varied and extensive. Here are a few examples:
- Drivers travel through Greensboro on 1,500 miles of streets (if laid end to end, they would stretch to Colorado). Rain water running off of these streets is collected by 34,000 curb inlets that are interconnected by 800 miles of pipes. More than 45,000 street signs regulate traffic along these streets. At night, they are illuminated by 19,000 street lights.
- Your drinking water starts in one of four lakes and is treated in one of two plants. Then it travels through 1,600 miles of pipes that are controlled by 33,000 valves and measured by 100,000 meters. When fire strikes, water is delivered to firefighters through 15,000 hydrants.
- When you are done using the water, it flows through 1,600 miles of sewer pipes pushed by one or more of 117 lift stations until it reaches the waste treatment plants.
- Residents frequently visit some of the 500 City-operated sites. These comprise 5,500 acres and range from undeveloped open space to athletic fields to branch libraries to complexes containing multiple buildings. Buildings can be as large as the Greensboro Coliseum (covering 600,000 square feet) or as small as a picnic shelter.
Through the use of asset management technology, it is possible to track repair histories and coordinate service delivery involving multiple departments. It enables the City to provide speedy service delivery and minimize costs to its customers.
The City uses Infor’s Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software to manage the work necessary to sustain and enhance this infrastructure. Beginning in 2004, departments have been migrating to EAM. Today, EAM is used to manage maintenance of:
- Facilities management
- Fire station logistics
- Parks and athletic fields
- Right-of-way maintenance
- Solid waste collection and recycling
- Street cleaning
- Stormwater infrastructure
- Traffic signs and signals
- Wastewater treatment
- Water treatment
Highlighted EAM Projects
- Increased use of mobile computing applications
- Work and asset management performance metrics
Today, the City manages more than a half million assets though EAM and processes more than 100,000 work orders annually. This number is expected to increase over the next three years.
Infor’s EAM software, version 8.5 is used by the City. Core asset and work management modules are used, as well as extensions that integrate EAM with the City’s financial, GIS, and Contact Center systems. EAM software is Web-based, so it is available to users throughout the City.
Three servers power the EAM application software. Additionally, the same Dell file servers that hosts GIS SQLServer based data host the asset management data. Prototyping file servers are also used for application development and testing.