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Squamish - District Receives 2015 Award of Excellence in GIS

November 18, 2015   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Alison Hermansen
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The District of Squamish has been selected as the winner of the 2015 Award of Excellence for their implementation of ArcGIS, geographic information system software used for data management, mapping and operational planning. The award was presented by Esri Canada at the Esri Canada User Conference in Vancouver.

"Virtually all municipal governments, utility companies, universities and other organizations that use GIS are using Esri technology," said Patricia Heintzman, Mayor of Squamish. "To be recognized among all of these as an industry leader is certainly a big honour. We're very proud of our team who has taken the lead on implementing this new technology that will allow us to grow and prosper in a digital age."

"It's remarkable how the District of Squamish has taken big strides in improving their business operations using ArcGIS," said Alex Miller, president, Esri Canada. "With limited resources and only two GIS professionals on staff, they've been able to leverage the latest GIS functionalities - from Web mapping to mobile to 3D modelling - to achieve significant efficiencies and effectively meet their growing community's needs."

The new GIS technology has enabled the District to increase efficiency, reduce costs, respond more quickly and improve the management of such operations as water conservation, active transportation, emergency operations and bear awareness.

"Using GIS allows us to be more agile and innovative in solving business problems," said Dan Griffin, GIS supervisor with the District of Squamish. "This award highlights our ability to meet and exceed business expectations with limited resources. It also acknowledges that our GIS investments enable us to be adaptive to change."

Through a newly created app, staff from the District's planning, building, engineering and operations departments are able to view all recent development activity on a parcel of land, as well as search and update development applications; some of this functionality will be available for public use in the near future. In addition, staff are better able to conduct benchmarking and provide more detailed reports to Council. These GIS resources, which were previously focused on supporting engineering operations, have now become a shared service across multiple departments. GIS technology was also used to create a 3D model of Squamish's downtown core that will make it easier to review potential redevelopment opportunities.

The District is the first organization of its size to win this award in B.C. Previous winners include the District of North Vancouver, Teck Resources, City of Surrey, Vancouver Police, and the Township of Langley. 

For more information and to access the District's mapping environment visit the Maps and Data page on our website.